Festival to include Cronenberg, Arcand, Girard

TORONTO — The homegrown slate for the 32nd Toronto Film Festival, unveiled Tuesday, is peppered with offerings from many of the Great White North’s most talented auteurs, including David Cronenberg, Denys Arcand and Francois Girard.

Cronenberg’s thriller “Eastern Promises,” starring Viggo Mortensen and Naomi Watts, and “L’Age des tenebres” (“Days of Darkness”), from Oscar winner Denys Arcand (“The Barbarian Invasions”) will receive Gala screenings at the festival.

The costumer “Silk,” directed by Francois Girard (“The Red Violin”) and starring Michael Pitt, Sei Ashina and Keira Knightley, will have its world preem as a Special Presentation at the festival, as will the adaptation of Romeo Dallaire memoir “Shake Hands With the Devil,” directed by Roger Spottiswoode and starring Roy Dupuis, and docs “My Winnipeg,” from Guy Maddin, and “Here Is What Is,” about musician-producer Daniel Lanois, directed by Lanois, Adam Vollick and Adam Samuels.

Also unspooling as a Special Presentation is the North American preem of Clement Virgo’s boxing and discrimination drama “Poor Boy’s Game,” starring Rossif Sutherland and Danny Glover.

Peter Raymont’s “A Promise to the Dead: The Exile Journey of Ariel Dorfman” has been added to the Real to Reel slate, along with “Heavy Metal in Baghdad,” from Suroosh Alvi and Eddy Moretti, and John Zaritsky’s “The Wild Horse Redemption.”

Joining the Contemporary World Cinema slate is Bruce Sweeney’s “American Venus”; “All Hat,” from Leonard Farlinger; “Breakfast With Scot,” from Laurie Lynd; “Contre toute esperance,” from Bernard Emond; “The Stone Angel,” from Kari Skogland; Allan Moyle’s “Weirdsville”; “Nos vies privees,” from Denis Cote; and “Normal,” directed by Carl Bessai.

Opening the Canada First! program is Martin Gero’s directorial debut, “Young People Fucking,” an upfront comedy about “four couples, a threesome and a crazy night of sex.”

The Canada First! slate, featuring work from this nation’s cinematic up-and-comers, also includes “Amal,” from 2005 Telefilm Canada Pitch This! competition winner Richie Mehta; “Le Cedre penche,” from Rafael Ouellet; “Continental, un film sans fusil,” directed by Stephane Lafleur; and Chaz Thorne’s “Just Buried.”

The work of Quebecois director Michel Brault will be showcased at this year’s Canadian Retrospective. In addition to selected screenings of Brault’s work, the Toronto Intl. Film Festival Group is publishing a Brault bio penned by Andre Loiselle, “Cinema as History: Michel Brault and Modern Quebec.”

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