Toronto slate plucks best of fests

Canadian fest lists Cannes best

TORONTO — Toronto Film Festival co-director Noah Cowan served up on Tuesday a taste of things to come at this year’s event — 20 films that he called “the cream of the festival circuit” and that make up about 10% of the total slate.

These include “The Child,” from helming brothers Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne, which took the Palme d’Or at Cannes in May, and “Hidden,” for which Michael Haneke drew director honors at Cannes.

Both will appear in Toronto’s masters program along with “The Sun,” from Alexander Sokurov (“Russian Ark”); Lars von Trier’s “Manderlay,” the second film in his U.S. trilogy; “Three Times,” from Hou Hsiao-hsien; and Wim Wenders’ Sam Shepard starrer “Don’t Come Knocking,” about a faded movie star chasing his past.

“These films are our programmers’ personal favorites from other major international film festivals,” Cowan said. “This is a wonderful opportunity for audiences to see these films for the first time in Canada and in many instances, North America.”

Sixteen of the 20 films are North American preems at the fest, which unspools Sept. 8-17.

Titles picked for the contemporary world cinema program are: Thomas Vinterberg’s “Dear Wendy,” penned by von Trier; “Shanghai Dreams” by Wang Xiaoshuai (“Beijing Bicycle”); Carlos Reygadas’ “Battle in Heaven”; “Paradise Now” from Hany Abu-Assad; the Iranian film “Iron Island” from Mohammad Rasoulof (“The Twilight”); “The Death of Mr. Lazarescu,” directed by Cristi Puiu; “Marock,” the feature debut of Laila Marrakchi; and the South African film based on the opera “Carmen,” “Carmen in Khayelitsha,” directed by Mark Dornford-May, winner of the Golden Bear in Berlin.

“The Wayward Cloud,” the latest from Tsai Ming-liang (“What Time Is It There?”), will be part of the visions program, as will “Be With Me,” directed by Eric Khoo (“12 Stories”) and Vimukthi Jayasundara’s “The Forsaken Land.”

“Thumbsucker,” the feature debut of musicvideo director Mike Mills, and “The Squid and the Whale” from director Noah Baumbach (“Kicking and Screaming,”) are part of the special presentations slate.

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