Tornto Film Festival Sets 281 Films For 1997 Event
by Eugene Hernandez
An overwhelming 281 films from will screen at the 1997 Toronto Film
Festival, which runs September 4-13. A twenty five page fax with the
complete lineup jammed indieWIRE's FAX machine yesterday; the list is a
who's who of contemporary filmmakers from around the world, including:
John Sayles, Wayne Wang, Atom Egoyan, Marleen Gorris, Spike Lee,
Agnieszka Holland, Alan Rudolph, Abel Ferrara, Antonia Bird, Takeshi
Kitano, Errol Morris, Hal Hartley, Wong Kar-Wai, Michael Apted, Noah
Baumbach, Mike Figgis, Sally Potter, James Toback, Jim Jarmusch, Zhang
Yimou, Chris Hegedus and D.A. Pennebaker, Alain Berliner, and Olivier
At the very least, the Toronto Film Festival is widely considered among
the top four film festivals in the world, alongside Cannes, Berlin and
Venice (it was rated number one in an LA TIMES industry poll). The
event, which will host 350 sales and acquisitions executives, lures $7.5
million in tourism and packs a $30 million economic wallop for its host
The world premiere of Jean-Jacques Annaud's new film, "Seven Years in Tibet", will be the capper to ten days of screenings, at the 1997 Toronto
Film Festival, the event's Director Piers Handling revealed yesterday.
The film stars Brad Pitt and features David Thewlis ("Naked"). Among the
world premieres in the Festival's "Gala" section are: "The Assignment",
directed by Christian Duguay and starring Donald Sutherland, Ben
Kingsley and Aidan Quinn; "Gattaca", directed by Andrew Niccol, and
starring Uma Thurman and Ethan Hawke; and "Artemisia", directed by Agnes
Merlet. North American premieres in the section include: "Chinese Box",
directed by Wayne Wang and starring Jeremy Irons, Gong Li and Maggie
Cheung; "The Wings of the Dove", directed by Iain Softley, and starring
Helena Bonham Carter and Linus Roache.
Seven world premieres are also have been added to the festival's
"Special Presentations," program, they are: "Le Bassin de Jw", directed by
Joao Cesar Monteiro; "The Apostle", produced, directed by, written by and
starring Robert Duvall; "The Spanish Prisoner", written and directed by
David Mamet and starring Campbell Scott and Steve Martin; "Afterglow",
directed by Alan Rudolph and starring Nick Nolte, Julie Christie, Lara
Flynn Boyle and Jonny Lee Miller; Hal Hartley's new film, "Henry Fool";
the debut work from Peter O'Fallon, entitled "Suicide Kings", starring
Christopher Walken; and James Toback's "Two Girls and a Guy", starring
Robert Downey, Jr.
A new festival program, entitled "The Masters," showcases the latest
work from what organizers call, "some of the world's most celebrated
auteurs. Among the filmmakers included in the section are: Zhang Yimou
("Keep Cool"); Michael Haneke ("Funny Games", "The Castle"); Jaime Humberto
Hermosillo ("Esmeralda Comes by Night"); Mani Ratham ("The Duo"); Alexandr
Sokurov ("Mother and Son"); Krzystof Kieslowski ("The Scar"); Manoel de
Oliviera ("Journey to the Beginning of the World"); and Claude Jutra ("Mon Oncle Antoine").
The Contemporary World Cinema section includes films from throughout the
world, among them:"Keep the Aspidistra Flying" (UK), directed by Robert
Bieman and starring Richard E. Grant and Helena Bonham Carter; "Love and Death on Long Island" (USA), directed by Richard Kwietniowski and starring
John Hurt; "Happy Together" (Taiwan), directed by Wong Kar-Wai; "Delirium"
(Philippines), directed by Peque Gallaga and Lore Reyes; "Suzaku" (Japan),
directed by Namoi Kawase; "Nettoyage a Sec" (France), directed by Anne
Fontaine; "Obsession" (Germany), directed by Peter Sehr; "Insomnia"
(Norway), directed by Erik Skjoldbjaerg; "Sue" (United States), directed
by Amos Kollek; "Gummo" (United States), directed by Harmony Korine.
Among other sections set for this year's festival are: Balkan Cinema:
Home Truths; Director's Spotlight; Real to Reel; Discovery; Dialogues:
Talking with Pictures; Perspective Canada; Planet Africa; and Symposium
'97, a wide array of panel discussions.
[For the complete lineup, visit the Festival's website]