The 39th edition of the Toronto International Film Festival is underway, in case you haven’t noticed our previews and reviews of films screening there this year.
Among the always impressive slate of high-profile films making their world premieres at the festival, are a few that we’ve been tracking on this blog, including a feature film Nicole Beharie was initially attached to co-star in (when the project was first announced in late 2012), but she apparently exited the project, and was replaced by Muna Otaru.
Otaru co-stars in the Civil War drama titled “The Keeping Room,” alongside Brit Marling and Hailee Steinfeld, in a film that tells the story of 3 Southern women (2 of them sisters, and the third, their long-silent family slave) who are forced to defend their home in the last days of the war, against a large group of soldiers who have broken off from the Union Army.
Marling and Steinfeld play the sisters, while Otaru plays the slave (a role that Beharie was initially tapped to for).
Sam Worthington and Kyle Soller co-star.
“The Keeping Room” is directed by Daniel Barber, from a script written by Julia Hart.
Anonymous Content, Wind Dancer Films, Gilbert Films are all producers.
When it was first announced, the project was described as “cinematic, thrilling and dangerous,” and full of “profound themes.”
TIFF calls it a “stunning suspense drama.”
Muna Otaru’s past credits include appearances in “Syriana,” “Lions for Lambs,” and “Rendition” on the big screen. She also featured in episodes of “Lost” and “The Wire” on the small screen.
Her role in “The Keeping Room” just might be one that increases awareness of her and her talent, and the first clip from the film – a tense one, somewhat reminiscent of a similar moment from “In the Heat of the Night,” although entirely different eras (about 100 years apart) and relationships – embedded below, gives viewers a glimpse at what to expect.