Festival organizers unveil global film slate

Organizers unveiled much of the international slate for the Toronto Film Festival on Wednesday, with 73 films coming from 40 countries, including world premieres of the latest from Rituparno Ghosh, Jan Schuette, Hans Weingartner and Nick Broomfield.

“Our commitment to promoting international voices has never been stronger,” fest co-director Noah Cowan said. “The global industry is thriving, and we are proud to have these filmmakers present their work at TIFF.”

Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan takes the lead in the world premiere of Ghosh’s English-language “The Last Lear,” about a clash of stage and screen cultures.

Also on the Gala slate is the North American preem of debut helmer Alexi Tan’s “Blood Brothers,” a cautionary tale set in Shanghai in the 1930s that stars Liu Ye, Daniel Wu and Tony Yang.

Otto Tausig, Rhea Perlman, Tovah Feldshuh and Barbara Hershey star in the world preem of Schuette’s “Love Comes Lately,” based on the stories of Isaac Bashevis Singer, as part of the Special Presentations slate.

Also in Special Presentations is Weingartner’s “Reclaim Your Brain,” in which a TV producer (Moritz Bleibtreu) takes sweet revenge on the biz. Aclose call with the Grim Reaper changes things for a doctor in “Shadows,” from Milcho Manchevski, also in Special Presentations. Both are world preems.

Other notable Special Presentations: the North American preem of Ang Lee’s erotic espionage thriller “Lust, Caution,” which stars Tang Wei and Tony Leung; Julio Medem’s “Chaotic Ana,” starring Manuela Velles and Charlotte Rampling; “Mongol,” from Sergei Bodrov; and the Cannes fest’s compendium of short films celebrating its 60th anniversary, “Chacun son cinema.”

From Carlos Saura of Spain, the world premiere of “Fados” joins the Masters slate. The tribute to fado, one of the oldest forms of urban folk music, features performances by Mariza and Carlos do Carmo. Also making their world preems in Masters: “Four Women,” from Adoor Gopalakrishnan; Hector Babenco’s “The Past”; and “The Voyeurs,” from Buddhadeb Dasgupta.

“Christopher Columbus, the Enigma,” from Manoel de Oliveira; “Desengagement,” from Amos Gitai; and Ken Loach’s “It’s a Free World” make their North American preems in the Masters section.

Lars von Trier fans will have something new to sink their teeth into at Toronto with the world preem in the Contemporary World Cinema section of “Erik Nietzsche — the Early Years,” from director Jacob Thuesen. Written by von Trier under the titular nom de plume, the “semiautobiographical” tale follows a shy young man in his quest to become a film director.

Other world premieres in Contemporary World Cinema are Broomfield’s harrowing Iraq tale “Battle for Haditha”; Frank Whaley’s “New York City Serenade,” starring Freddie Prinze Jr. and Chris Klein; “Barcelona (A Map),” from Ventura Pons; Sarah Gavron’s “Brick Lane”; “Days and Clouds,” from Silvio Soldini; “L’Ennemi intime,” from Florent Siri; Brillante Mendoza’s “Slingshot”; and “To Love Someone,” from Ake Sandgren of Sweden.

“Dans la vie” from Philippe Faucon makes its North American preem in the Contemporary World Cinema slate, as does Hur Jin-ho’s “Happiness.” Nobuhiro Yamashita’s “A Gentle Breeze in the Village”; “Gone With the Woman,” from Petter Naess; Jacques Nolot’s final film in his trilogy on gay life, “Avant que j’oublie,” in which he also stars; “Just Like Home,” from Lone Scherfig; and “Philippine Science,” directed by Auraeus Solito, make their international preems in the section.

Making its North American preem as part of the Visions slate is Christian Mungui’s Palme d’Or winner “4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days.” The world preem of Alessandro Capone’s “L’Amour cache,” starring Isabelle Huppert, also joins Visions.

The Vanguard slate has the world premieres of “Boy A,” from John Crowley; Pang Ho-cheung’s “The Exodus”; and the first fiction feature from James Spooner (“Afro-Punk”), “White Lies, Black Sheep.”

The festival runs Sept. 6-15.

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