Pix preem bonanza

Toronto fest unveils five world preems

TORONTO — Sam Raimi’s “A Simple Plan,” Richard LaGravenese’s “Living Out Loud” and Gary Ross’ “Pleasantville” will receive world premiere gala presentations at the 23rd Toronto Intl. Film Festival, Sept. 10-19.

“Judas Kiss” and “L.A. Without a Map” also will unspool as world premieres at Toronto.

Starring Bill Paxton, Academy Award-winner Billy Bob Thornton, Bridget Fonda and Brent Briscoe, “A Simple Plan” is the tale of three friends who stumble upon $4 million in a snow-encrusted plane wreck and how their scheme to keep the money spirals out of control.

Scribes’ directorial bows

In the character-driven comedy “Living Out Loud,” Academy Award-winner Holly Hunter plays a wealthy wife who’s been dumped for a younger woman. She goes on to forge a poignant friendship with her elevator operator, played by Danny DeVito.

“Living Out Loud” also stars Queen Latifah and Martin Donovan. “Loud” marks the directorial debut of scribe LaGravenese, who also wrote the script.

“Pleasantville,” starring Tobey Maguire, Jeff Daniels, Joan Allen, William H. Macy, J.T. Walsh, Don Knotts and Reese Witherspoon, is the story of twin siblings, played by Witherspoon and Maguire, who find themselves trapped in an alternate reality in which the temperature is always 72 degrees, the bathrooms have no toilets and sex doesn’t exist. The introduction of sex, storms, ideas and art that the twins bring to the town transforms Pleasantville from black and white to Technicolor.

The modern fairy tale is a directorial debut for Ross, who wrote the screenplay.

“Kiss” stars Emma Thompson, Alan Rickman and Gil Bellows. Set in New Orleans in the 24 hours following the botched kidnapping of a computer mogul, the film marks the feature directorial debut for Sebastian Gutierrez, who also scripted.

The film is repped in the U.S. and the U.K. by Key Entertainment and by Buena Vista Intl. Film Sales everywhere else. “Judas Kiss” is a Bandeira Entertainment production produced by Beau Flynn, Stefan Simchowitz and Jonathan King.

“Map” is based on Richard Rayner’s cult novel “Los Angeles Without a Map.” Co-written by Rayner and the film’s director Mika Kaurismaki, the pic is a fast-paced dramatic comedy about a young undertaker, played by David Tennant, who leaves his sweetheart and his life in the north of England to pursue his new love and a screenwriting career in America.

Palme d’Or winner

Theo Angelopoulos’ “Eternity and a Day,” winner of the Palme d’Or at Cannes, has been chosen as part of the Masters program.

Festival organizers also announced the lineup for Dialogues: Talking with Pictures, a program in which influential filmmakers introduce films that have influenced them. This year James Ivory, Mika Kaurismaki, Francois Girard, Arturo Ripstein, Robert Towne, John Boorman and John Waters have agreed to share their tastes and insights with festival-goers.

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