By Peter Knegt | Indiewire September 10, 2013 at 11:31AM
12 Years a Slave tells the incredible true story of Solomon Northup, a free black man from upstate New York who was kidnapped and sold into slavery in 1841 and finally freed in 1853. The story is a triumphant tale of one man’s courage and perseverance to reunite with his family that serves as an important historical and cultural marker in American history. Starring Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender, Benedict Cumberbatch, Paul Dano, Garret Dillahunt, Paul Giamatti, Scoot McNairy, Lupita Nyong'o, Adepero Oduye, Sarah Paulson, Brad Pitt, Michael Kenneth Williams and Alfre Woodard.
A Promise (Une Promesse) Patrice Leconte, Belgium/France North American Premiere
Germany, 1912. A youth of humble origins takes up a clerical post in a steel factory. Impressed by his work, the elderly owner takes him on as his private secretary and sets him up in his home. While there, the young man meets the owner’s beautiful and reserved wife — and falls helplessly in love with her, unbeknownst to the couple. But just as his employer announces that he is sending him to oversee his mines in Mexico, the wife makes him a startling promise. Starring Rebecca Hall, Alan Rickman and Richard Madden.
All Is By My Side John Ridley, United Kingdom World Premiere
Jimmy James, an unknown backup guitarist, left New York City for London, England in 1966. A year later he returned — as Jimi Hendrix. All Is By My Side brings authenticity and poignancy to the story of the man behind the legend, and of the people who loved and inspired him. Starring Imogen Poots, Hayley Atwell, André Benjamin, Ruth Negga and Adrian Lester.
The Armstrong Lie Alex Gibney, USA North American Premiere
In 2009, Alex Gibney was hired to make a film about Lance Armstrong’s comeback to cycling. The project was shelved when the doping scandal erupted, and re-opened after Armstrong’s confession. The Armstrong Lie picks up in 2013 and presents a riveting, insider's view of the unraveling of one of the most extraordinary stories in the history of sports. As Lance Armstrong says himself, “I didn’t live a lot of lies, but I lived one big one.”
Attila Marcel Sylvain Chomet, France World Premiere
Paul is in his 30s. An orphan since the age of two, he lives with his aunts in a Parisian apartment and leads a reclusive existence as a pianist. That is, until the day he meets Madame Proust.
Bad Words Jason Bateman, USA World Premiere
After discovering a loophole in the rules of the National Spelling Bee, a disruptive 40-year-old, Guy Trilby, dominates the pre-pubescent competition. An unlikely friendship occurs, however, when an awkward Indian boy is taken with Guy's rough edges. Meanwhile, a female reporter uncovers Guy's true motivation for competing. Starring Jason Bateman, Allison Janney, Phillip Baker Hall, Kathryn Hahn and Rohan Chand.
Belle Amma Asante, United Kingdom World Premiere
Belle is inspired by the true story of Dido Elizabeth Belle, the illegitimate bi-racial daughter of an aristocratic Royal Navy Admiral. Belle’s lineage affords her certain privileges, yet also prevents her from fully participating in the traditions of her social standing. Against the ridged boundaries of proper society, Belle finds both her true self and true romance — and influences her uncle to take a role in bringing an end to slavery. Starring Gugu Mbatha Raw, Tom Wilkinson, Sam Reid, Sarah Gadon, Miranda Richardson, Penelope Wilton, Tom Felton, James Norton, Matthew Goode and Emily Watson.
Blind Detective Johnnie To, Hong Kong North American Premiere
Forced to leave service after he was afflicted with blindness, a former detective ekes out his living by solving cold cases for police rewards. When an attractive, young hit-team inspector enlists his help in a personal case, he decides to take a stab at it with his own personal agenda. Starring Andy Lau and Sammi Cheng.
At 15, Adèle doesn't question it: girls go out with boys. Her life is changed forever when she meets Emma, a young woman with blue hair, who will allow her to discover desire, to assert herself as a woman and as an adult. In front of others, Adèle grows, seeks herself, loses herself, and finds herself. Starring Léa Seydoux and Adèle Exarchopoulos.
Burning Bush Agnieszka Holland, Czech Republic North American Premiere
This epic, long-form docudrama chronicles the political, legal, and moral fallout that followed after Czech student protester Jan Palach set himself on fire in protest against government repression in 1969.
Can a Song Save Your Life? John Carney, USA World Premiere
Can a Song Save Your Life? finds Gretta (Keira Knightley) alone in New York City after having her heart broken by her musician boyfriend (Adam Levine). She finds laughter and rejuvenation with a down-on-his-luck record producer (Mark Ruffalo) who recognizes her musical talent and opens up an entire city of possibility for both of them.
Cannibal (Caníbal) Manuel Martín Cuenca, Spain/Romania/Russia/France World Premiere
Carlos is the most prestigious tailor in Granada, but he’s also a murderer in the shadows. He feels no remorse, no guilt, until Nina appears in his life. She will make him realize the true nature of his actions and, for the first time, love awakens. Carlos is evil incarnate. Nina is pure innocence. And Cannibal is a demon’s love story.
Child of God James Franco, USA North American Premiere
Set in mountainous Sevier County, Tennessee in the 1960s, Child of God tells the story of Lester Ballard, a dispossessed, violent man whom the narrator describes as “a child of God much like yourself perhaps.” Ballard's life is a disastrous attempt to exist outside the social order. Deprived of both his parents and a home, and with few other ties, Ballard descends to the level of a cave dweller, falling deeper into crime and degradation. Starring James Franco, Scott Haze, Tim Blake Nelson and Jim Parrack.
Dallas Buyers Club Jean-Marc Vallée, USA World Premiere
In this fact-based drama, Matthew McConaughey portrays real-life Texas electrician Ron Woodroof, an ordinary man who found himself in a life-or-death battle with the medical establishment and pharmaceutical companies. In 1985, Ron was blindsided with an HIV diagnosis and given 30 days to live. With medications still restricted in the US and the country still divided over how to combat the virus, Ron procured non-toxic alternative treatments from all over the world through both legal and illegal means. To avoid government sanctions against selling non-approved medicines and supplements, Ron established a “buyers club” for fellow HIV-positive people, giving them access to his supplies. Also stars Jennifer Garner and Jared Leto.
Devil's Knot Atom Egoyan, USA World Premiere
A haunting true mystery about the infamous killing of three children in a small Arkansas town. The police charge and convict three teens, aka the West Memphis Three, for committing the murders during an alleged satanic ritual, but a mother and investigator suspect that the truth may be even worse. Starring Reese Witherspoon, Colin Firth, Kevin Durand, Bruce Greenwood, Mireille Enos, Dane DeHaan and Stephen Moyer.
The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Him and Her Ned Benson, USA
The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Him and Her is a two-part love story seen through the eyes of a New York couple trying to understand each other as they cope with personal hardship. The different perspectives of “Him” and “Her” result in two films with a unique look into one couple's attempt to reclaim the life and love they once had. Starring Jessica Chastain, James McAvoy, Nina Arianda, Viola Davis, Bill Hader, Ciarán Hinds, Isabelle Huppert, William Hurt, and Jess Weixler.
Dom Hemingway Richard Shepard, United Kingdom World Premiere
Dom Hemingway is a larger-than-life safecracker with a loose fuse who is funny, profane, and dangerous. After 12 years in prison, looking to collect what he's owed for keeping his mouth shut for protecting his rich mobster boss, he finds himself drawn back to the perils and pleasures of his criminal lifestyle — while trying to reconnect with his estranged daughter. Starring Jude Law, Richard E. Grant, Demian Bichir, Emilia Clarke, Kerry Condon, Jumayn Hunter, Madalina Ghenea and Nathan Stewart-Jarrett.
Jon Martello (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) is a strong, handsome, good old fashioned guy. His buddies call him Don Jon due to his ability to "pull" a different woman every weekend, but even the finest fling doesn't compare to the bliss he finds alone in front of the computer watching pornography. Barbara Sugarman (Scarlett Johansson) is a bright, beautiful, good old fashioned girl. Raised on romantic Hollywood movies, she's determined to find her Prince Charming and ride off into the sunset. Wrestling with good old fashioned expectations of the opposite sex, Jon and Barbara struggle against a media culture full of false fantasies to try and find true intimacy in this unexpected comedy.
The Double Richard Ayoade, United Kingdom World Premiere
Simon is a timid man, scratching out an isolated existence in an indifferent world. He is overlooked at work, scorned by his mother, and ignored by the woman of his dreams. The arrival of a new co-worker, James, serves to upset the balance. James is both Simon's exact physical double and his opposite — confident, charismatic and good with women. To Simon's horror, James slowly starts taking over his life. Starring Jesse Eisenberg, Mia Wasikowska, Wallace Shawn and Noah Taylor.
Enemy Denis Villeneuve, Canada/Spain World Premiere
Based on The Double by Nobel Laureate José Saramago, this film explores the troubled psyche of a man who is torn between his mistress and his wife. Jake Gyllenhaal gives a brilliant performance as both Adam and Anthony — a man and his double — engaged in a lethal and erotic battle.
Enough Said Nicole Holofcener, USA World Premiere
Eva (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) is a divorced soon-to-be empty-nester wondering about her next act. Then she meets Marianne (Catherine Keener), the embodiment of her perfect self. Armed with a restored outlook on being middle-aged and single, Eva decides to take a chance on her new love interest Albert (James Gandolfini) — a sweet, funny and like-minded man. Things get complicated when Eva discovers that Albert is in fact the dreaded ex–husband of Marianne. This sharp insightful comedy follows Eva as she humorously tries to secretly juggle both relationships and wonders whether her new favourite friend's disastrous ex can be her cue for happiness. Also stars Toni Collette, Ben Falcone, Eve Hewson and Tavi Gevinson.
Exit Marrakech Caroline Link, Germany International Premiere
When 17-year-old Ben visits his father Heinrich in Marrakech, it is the start of an adventurous journey through a foreign country with a picturesque charm and a rough beauty where everything appears possible — including the chance that father and son will lose each other for good, or find one another again.
The F Word Michael Dowse, Canada/Ireland World Premiere
When Wallace meets Chantry, it could be love at first sight… except she lives with her long-term boyfriend. And so Wallace, acting with both best intentions — and maybe a little denial — discovers the dirtiest word in romance: friends. Starring Daniel Radcliffe, Zoe Kazan, Adam Driver and TIFF Rising Star Megan Park.
The Face of Love Arie Posin, USA World Premiere
Five years after losing the love of her life, Nikki falls in love again — at first sight. The object of her affection is Tom, an art teacher with a kind heart and a great zest for life, and also a near perfect double for Nikki's deceased husband. Seduced by the chance to live as if her husband was never lost, Nikki spirals into a fantasy of the present as past, while Tom must unravel the mystery behind her immediate and unconditional love. Starring Annette Bening, Ed Harris, Robin Williams and Amy Brenneman.
Fading Gigolo John Turturro, USA World Premiere
Fioravante, at his friend Murray’s suggestion, enters into the world’s oldest profession, and ends up finding something he didn’t know he was looking for. Starring John Turturro, Woody Allen, Vanessa Paradis, Liev Schreiber, Sharon Stone and Sofia Vergara.
Felony Matthew Saville, Australia World Premiere
Three detectives become embroiled in a tense struggle after a tragic accident that leaves a child in critical condition. One is guilty of a crime, one will try to cover it up, and the other attempts to expose it. How far will these men go to disguise and unravel the truth?
The Finishers Nils Tavernier, Belgium/France World Premiere
Julien, 17, is wheelchair-bound due to cerebral palsy. Despite their love for him, his family is gradually falling apart under the strain of dealing with his disability. In a bid to bond with his father, Julien challenges him to participate with him in the Ironman race in Nice (French Riviera), a triathlon in which his father has previously competed. Starring Jacques Gamblin, Alexandra Lamy and Fabien Héraud.
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