Stars aligned in the Great White North
MONTREAL — The stars will be out in force at the 29th Toronto Film Festival, which will kick off Sept. 9.Among the thesps expected to attend are Annette Bening and Jeremy Irons to tubthump opening-night pic “Being Julia”; “The Lord of the Rings” heartthrob Orlando Bloom for “Haven,” which he stars in and produced; and Dustin Hoffman, Jason Schwartzman, Isabelle Huppert and Mark Wahlberg for “I Heart Huckabees.” Also expected to be on hand are Jamie Foxx for Ray Charles biopic “Ray”; Liam Neeson for “Kinsey”; Sean Penn for “The Assassination of Richard Nixon”; Hilary Swank for “Red Dust”; Charlize Theron for epic period piece “Head in the Clouds”; Sandra Bullock, Matt Dillon and Brendan Fraser for “Crash,” which is expected to be a hot sales item; and Sigourney Weaver for “Imaginary Heroes.” The fest’s industry programming, announced Monday, will include appearances by helmers Sydney Pollack, Terry Gilliam and Todd Solondz. Producer-director-actor Pollack will talk about the film biz in a session titled “In Conversation With Sydney Pollack.” Gilliam (“Brazil,” “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas”) will conduct a Master Class on Sept. 13. Solondz — whose latest pic, “Palindromes,” screens at the fest — will participate in the Mavericks Filmmaker Program, a series of intimate, industry-only exchanges between helmers and industryites. Other speakers confirmed for this program include Bruce La Bruce, Gregg Araki, Lukas Moodysson and Gabriella Martinelli. Festival also announced that Gus Van Sant, Kevin Spacey, Amos Gitai, Guy Maddin and Peter Mettler have been added to the lineup for the first edition of Talent Lab Toronto, a three-day session that gives a select group of Canuck filmmakers the chance to learn from well-known veterans. Talent Lab Toronto will take place Sept. 9-11. Other helmers, producers and execs slated for the lab include Patricia Rozema, Bingham Ray and author Michael Ondaatje (“The English Patient”). Other industry events will include My Next Project; Telefilm Canada Pitch This; Sharing Stories; and a panel on the horror genre, Negative Pleasure. There also will be a forum for buying and selling documentaries, Doc Salon. In addition, there will be panels on creative financing, digital film, Canadian film and piracy, and a session focusing on Chris Blackwell’s Palm Pictures. The fest’s film lineup will be unveiled this morning.