Arcand's "Invasions" to Open Toronto Fest; Other Key Titles Announced for 2003 Event
by Eugene Hernandez
The 28th Toronto International Film Festival will open with Denys Arcand's "Les Invasions Barbares" on September 4 in Canada, festival director Piers Handling and managing director Michele Maheux announced on Tuesday. The Miramax film was a double-award winner at the Festival de Cannes. The pair also unveiled a number of titles that are set for other sections of the 2003 Toronto festival and confirmed a continuing shift away from the Yorkville neighborhood of the city. The event will run through September 13.
Arcand's film, which debuted in Cannes last month, features performances by Rémy Girard, Dorothée Berryman, Pierre Curzi, Yves Jacques, Louise Portal, Dominique Michel, Stéphane Rousseau, Marie-Josée Croze (winner of the best actress prize at the Festival de Cannes), Isabelle Blais, Johanne Marie Tremblay, Marina Hands, and artist Mitsou Gélinas. Arcand's "Stardom" opened the Toronto International Film Festival in 2000.
A number of notable films have been set for the festival's Gala Presentation section. Robert Altman's "The Company," from Capitol Films and Killer Films, along with Altman's Sandcastle 5, will have its world premiere. It will be released this year by Sony Pictures Classics. The ensemble drama, which features Neve Campbell, James Franco, and Malcolm McDowell, is the story of "a ballet dancer on the verge of becoming a principal performer." Also on tap in the section is Lars von Trier's "Dogville," which will be released by Lions Gate. Fresh from its debut in Cannes, the film stars Nicole Kidman and an all-star cast that includes Paul Bettany, Lauren Bacall, Ben Gazarra, James Caan, Philip Baker Hall, and Chloe Sevigny. The new movie is the story of a woman on the run who seeks shelter in a small U.S. mountain town. Emile Gaudreault's "Mambo Italiano," with Paul Sorvino, Ginette Reno, Lary Walsh, Luke Kirby, Peter Miller, Claudia Ferri, and Sophie Lorain, is also screening in the section. It will be released in the U.S. by Samuel Goldwyn.
Festival production spaces this year will be housed at the Delta Chelsea Hotel and The Sutton Place in downtown Toronto. The move reflects a continuing shift from the Yorkville area that began last year when the event moved the Rogers Industry Centre from the Park Hyatt to the Sutton. The festival Press Office as well as press conferences and Programming will be based at the Delta Chelsea, while the Industry Centre will again be anchored at the Sutton. No other changes are on tap. Partner hotels for 2003 are the Delta Chelsea Hotel, Four Seasons Hotel Toronto, Metropolitan Hotel, The Sutton Place Hotel, and Windsor Arms.
The world premiere of John Sayles' "Casa De Los Babys," from IFC Films, will screen in the Masters section of the festival. The film, which features the ensemble cast Maggie Gyllenhaal, Daryl Hannah, Marcia Gay Harden, Susan Lynch, Mary Steenburgen, and Lili Taylor, is story of a group of American women who are temporarily living in a Latin American country as they wait to pick-up their newly adopted babies. Jacques Rivette's "L'Historie de Marie et Julien" will have its North American premiere in the same section.
Among the North American premieres set for the Contemporary World Cinema section are Sedigh Barmak's "Osama" which United Artists will release, Erik Matti's "Prosti," Bent Hamer's "Kitchen Stories," Roger Michell's "The Mother" from Sony Clasics, David Mackenzie's "Young Adam," Julie Bertuccelli's "Depuis Qu'Otar Est Parti," Penny Woodcock's "The Principles of Lust," Solveig Anspach's "Stormy Weather," Naomi Kawase's "Shara," Dagar Kari's "Noi Albinoi" which was acquired by Palm, and Siegfried Anspach's "Sansa." John Crowley III's "Intermission" will screen as a Canadian premiere.
Five films have already been set for the National Cinema section, dubbed "Vida Novo: The New Brazilian Cinema." Among the titles that will screen are Hector Babenco's "Carandiru" from Sony Classics, Eliane Caffe's "The Story of Tellers," Jose Padilha's "Bus 174" which will be released by ThinkFilm, Jose Henrique Fonseca's "The Man of the Year," and Renato Falcao's "Margarette's Feast."
A special silent film presentation, with live music, will again be hosted by the festival. This year's film will be Erich von Stroheim's hit 1925 film, "The Merry Widow," starring John Gilbert and Mae Murray. Toronto musicians will be led by conductor Berndt Heller.
The Toronto International Film Festival box office will open on July 14 for online, phone, and fax orders, while it will open for walk-up sales on July 21.
[For more information, please visit: http://www.bell.ca/filmfest.]