Roth pic, 'Magic' head up fest's Midnight slate
MONTREAL — The Midnight Madness sidebar at the 30th Toronto Film Festival will include the world premiere of a work-in-progress print of “Hostel,” the latest from U.S. helmer Eli Roth.
Roth’s previous film, “Cabin Fever,” generated a fevered bidding war after screening in Midnight Madness in 2002. Lions Gate snapped it up.
Full details of the Midnight Madness program, dedicated to latenight screenings of sci-fi and horror and wild docus, were unveiled Tuesday.
“Hostel” is produced by “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” producer Mike Fleiss, Chris Briggs and Roth. Jay Hernandez (“Friday Night Lights”) stars in the story of three backpackers who check into an unusual hostel. After a wild night of sex and drugs, one backpacker goes missing, leading to a grisly discovery.
The other U.S. entry in the section is “Sarah Silverman: Jesus Is Magic,” which features comic Silverman — who appears in the current hit docu “The Aristocrats” — in a film of her solo show.
The U.K. is repped by Jake West’s “Evil Aliens,” about alien encounters, and Billy O’Brien’s U.K./Ireland co-prod “Isolation,” about a farmer, a vet, two runaways and a scary cow.
Others pics unspooling include Gallic helmer Pierre Morel’s “Banlieu 13,” set in 2010, when criminals rule a Paris suburb, and Aron Gauder’s Hungarian pic “The District!,” an animated feature that’s been described as an Eastern European “South Park.” Pornchai Hongrattanaporn’s “Bangkok Loco” features garage bands, kung fu and a guy on the run from the law.
Fest will host the North American preem of “The Great Yokai War,” a Japanese ghost story from Takashi Miike (“Ichi the Killer,” “Gozu”), a Midnight Madness regular.
Also on tap is the world premiere of “SPL,” helmer Wilson Yip’s Hong Kong/China co-production about cops and thugs fighting it out in Hong Kong. Martial-arts stars Sammo Hung and Donnie Yen star.
In related news, Hong Kong- and Amsterdam-based sales and production finance house Fortissimo Films has picked up international rights to “Twelve and Holding,” about three bereaved children; pic will world preem at Toronto.
“Twelve” is the second feature by helmer Michael Cuesta (“L.I.E.”) and stars Annabella Sciorra and Linus Roache. Anthony Cipriano penned the script.
Pic was produced by Serenade Films, an indie that splits gross revenues equally between investors and filmmakers. Fortissimo has six films at Toronto.
(Patrick Frater in Hong Kong contributed to this report.)