Continental surge hits Toronto

A look at five hot titles that tout European talent

Variety spotlights five hot fest titles that showcase some of Europe’s top talent, set to make their marks on world cinema:

Lorraine Stanley
Actress, “London to Brighton”

Offering a searing performance alongside teenage co-star Georgia Groome, Lorraine Stanley looks poised to field many calls from producers and casting agents after they see her turn as a tough prostitute on the run from a pimp in “London to Brighton.”

Stanley came up through the legit ranks, performing at the Royal National Theater — she’s even performed at Her Majesty’s Prison in Kingston — and has appeared in various long-standing TV series, including “The Bill,” “London’s Burning,” “Spooks,” “Nicholas Nickleby” and Antonia Bird’s highly acclaimed TV drama “Rehab.”

“London to Brighton” reps her second collaboration with director Paul Andrew Williams, the first being a short, “Royalty.”

Andrzej Chyra
Actor, “Palimpsest”

Andrzej Chyra’s blond, roughly handsome looks may mark him as a star, and he’s already proved his acting chops in his native Poland. His brooding work as a prisoner in “Symmetry,” as a ruthless yuppie in “The Collector” and his supporting player work in Krzysztof Zanussi’s “Persona Non Grata” have earned him praise and fans.

Chyra plays yet another man on the edge in his latest pic, “Palimpsest” — he’s an undercover cop descending into a nightmarish underworld to catch a friend’s killer. Helmer Konrad Niewolski’s latest screens in the Toronto fest’s Contemporary World Cinema sidebar.

Florian Henckelvon Donnersmarck
Director, “The Lives of Others”

German helmer Florain Henckel von Donnersmarck learned a lot about the world while growing up in Gotham and various European cities before pursuing a college education in St. Petersburg, Russia, and Oxford. He served a directing apprenticeship under Richard Attenborough before training formally at Munich’s Academy of TV and Film. Shorts “Dobermann,” “Les Mythes urbains” and “Der Templar” led to his first feature, “The Lives of Others,” a richly emotional account of an East German secret policeman’s complex relationship with the two intellectuals on whom he’s spying. Pic earned praise at home and wowed the crowds at the Locarno fest’s Piazza Grande.

Joachim Trier
Director, “Reprise”

Norwegian helmer Joachim Trier may be the next big thing in Scandinavian cinema. His first feature, “Reprise,” a sophisticated multicharacter drama about twentysomething friends struggling with literary ambitions, was reckoned by many to be the best thing at this year’s Karlovy Vary Film Fest, where it charmed the crowds.

Trained at Blighty’s National Film and Television school, Trier cut his teeth on commercials and shorts. “Procter” won kudos at the Edinburgh film fest in 2002 and was nommed for a European Film Award.

Anne Coesens
Actress, “Cages”

Gallic thesp Anne Coesens isn’t an entirely new face, but only dedicated Francophiles will have come across her work with a variety of offbeat and adventurous helmers.

She starred as a passionate adultress in Virginie Wagon’s “Le Secret,” took a supporting turn in Chantal Akerman’s “Tomorrow We Move” and collaborated twice with Alain Berliner for “The Day of the Cat” and his hit coming-of-gay dramedy “Ma vie en rose.” Her work as a woman left scarred and mute in “Cages,” unspooling in Toronto’s Visions section, is already being described as a pyrotechnical display that’s sure to create plenty of buzz.

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