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Toronto Day 7: Minute by Minute

Toronto Day 7: Minute by Minute

Each day at the Toronto International Film Festival (September 9-19), indieWIRE is publishing a frequently updated dispatch from Toronto.

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5:50pm: IFC Films Buys Lynn Shelton’s “My Sister’s Sister” In Toronto, Plans Summer 2012 Release. Lynn Shelton’s follow-up to “Humpday” has been winning over the critics since premiering in Toronto. Shelton now was even more reason to celebrate with today’s big announcement.

3:45pm: Another buy! North American rights to Abel Ferrara’s “4:44 Last Day on Earth” have been picked up by IFC Films. Starring Willem Dafoe, Shanyn Leigh, Paz de la Huerta, and Natasha Lyonne, the film debuted earlier this month in Venice and is set to have its Stateside premiere at the upcoming New York Film Festival. More here.

3:15pm: Oscilloscope Laboratories has acquired North American rights to Andrea Arnold’s “Wuthering Heights.” The film is currently screening at the Toronto Film Festival after debuting in Venice last week. Oscilloscope will released the film in 2012.

1:40pm: Palisades Tartan has acquired U.S. and U.K. rights to Jafar Panahi’s acclaimed Iranian documentary “This is Not a Film” out of Toronto. Here for more.

1:35pm: As it stands now, Steve McQueen’s “Shame” has the highest average of any film screening in Toronto on criticWIRE. Go here to learn why and to see what else is scoring well.

11:55am: William Friedkin’s “Killer Joe,” starring Matthew McConaughey and Emile Hirsch, has been acquired for U.S. distribution by Liddell Entertainment out of Toronto. The film’s received good notices in both Toronto and Venice, where it had its world premiere. More here.

11:15am: Eric Kohn on “Paradise Lost 3”: Because of the new developments, HBO has decided to give “Paradise Lost 3” an awards-qualifying theatrical run. It should do solid business in limited released due to the media spotlight on the case, but clearly it’s biggest audience lies with TV viewers. Whether it faces major competition in awards season remains to be seen. Read the full review here.

10:30am: Ever since “Welcome to the Dollhouse” put Todd Solondz on the map in 1995, he has been considered a unique provocateur, willing to portray angst-riddled outcasts in a sympathetic light while also highlighting their imperfections.

Last year’s “Life During Wartime” showed Solondz hasn’t lost interest in that beat, revisiting a world he first created with “Happiness.” Now, Solondz has stepped just outside that universe with “Dark Horse,” the story of a lonely collector named Abe (Jordan Gelber) who tries to romance a drug-addled woman (Selma Blair) he meets at a wedding. Both quietly sad and unexpectedly witty, it’s quintessential Solondz—in other words, another divisive work. The director sat down with indieWIRE after the movie’s North American premiere in Toronto to discuss how the movie relates to the rest of his career.

10:00am: The Weinstein Company premiered the sly comedy “Butter” last night at the Roy Thompson Hall. Before hitting Toronto, the film screened in Telluride where audiences got a taste for the Tea Party lampooning in the film (Jennifer Garner plays wife to a butter carving champion who’s title is threatened when a black teenage rival comes into town). Well Weinstein made these intentions clear in a satirical statement he had the film’s co-star Olivia Wilde read at the premiere to the packed house in attendance. It read as follows:

Jennifer Garner in “Butter.” TIFF.

“Thank you everyone for coming out tonight. I want to start by thanking Jason Micallef who wrote the great script to ‘Butter,’ I want to thank Jim Field Smith who did a wonderful job of directing, and I want to thank Mike DeLuca, Jennifer Garner, Alissa Phillips and Juliana Janes for producing a movie I’m so proud of. I must thank my own spectacular team, especially Kelly Carmichael and Matt Garner. But I also want to thank Jason Reitman. Jason was an inspiration and guiding light for this film. I love his movies and I love his dad’s movies. Jason is a great cinema lover and one of the smartest people I’ve met in this industry.

In 20 years of coming to the Toronto Film Festival, I’ve never released a statement for a film. But I would like to take this moment to formally invite Republican Congresswoman from Minnesota and Republican presidential candidate, Michele Bachmann, to co-host with me the big premiere of ‘Butter’ in Iowa in a few months from now. I know Michele will already be in Iowa for the caucus, so we can save some money on airfare and travel. I would of course be more than happy to fly in the other leading members of the Tea Party movement to make an entire day of it. We could take some math classes in the morning to help balance the budget, brush up on the Constitution in the afternoon, play some ping-pong and then maybe some verbal ping-pong on gay rights and women’s rights (especially the right to choose). But at night we can all go hand-in-hand to the premiere of ‘Butter,’ a fun and important film where we’ll share some popcorn and laughs. These are the kind of bipartisan effort that makes America great.

“I look forward to hearing from Michele and I’m particularly looking forward to those classes on the Constitution.”

[Nigel M. Smith]

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