Toronto fest to bow ‘Fisher’

'Les Chemins,' 'Khorma,' 'Promised Land' to also preem

TORONTO — Denzel Washington’s directorial debut, “Antwone Fisher,” will world preem at next month’s Toronto Intl. Film Festival.

The Fox Searchlight production was written by Antwone Fisher, the former Sony security guard who bared his abusive childhood in the memoir “Finding Fish” and who was urged to write the screenplay by producer Todd Black.

Pic stars Derek Luke and is produced by Black, Randa Haines and Washington.

Organizers of the 27th fest, which unspools Sept. 5-14, also unveiled the Planet Africa lineup of 17 films from 11 countries. It’s headed by the world preem of Camille Billop’s documentary “A String of Pearls,” preceded by Mariette Monpierre’s short film “Rendez-vous.”

In “Les Chemins de L’oued,” from Gael Morel, a man is sent to stay with his relatives in Algeria after hitting a police officer with his car. Pic will world preem at the fest, as will Jilani Saadi’s “Khorma,” in which a man becomes the official announcer of births, deaths and marriages in his small Tunisian village.

Also world preeming is “Promised Land,” from Jason Xenopoulos, in which George (Nick Boraine) returns from London to his childhood home in South Africa for the first time in 25 years; and the feature debut of Cess Silvera, “Shottas,” a Jamaica/U.S. co-production in which two Jamaican youths (Ky-mani Marley and Spragga Benz) become rich and powerful criminals.

Producer-director Ivan Reitman (“Road Trip,” “Ghostbusters”) will share his insights on filmmaking and the industry in a master class Sept. 10, and composer Mychael Danna (“Ararat,” “Antwone Fisher,” “Monsoon Wedding,” “The Sweet Hereafter”) will be the subject of an In Conversation With. . . the same day.

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