Spanish, Asia features headed for festival
The Toronto Film Festival unveiled 10 high-profile Spanish-language titles and 13 Asian pics on Wednesday.Among the Spanish films are the international preem of Daniel Burman’s aptly titled comedy “Empty Nest” in the Gala section. Pic’s star Cecilia Roth (“All About My Mother”) will walk the red carpet for the film. Javier Camara (“Talk to Her”) and Maribel Verdu (“Pan’s Labyrinth”) star in Jose Luis Cuerda’s Spanish Civil War-era family saga “Blind Sunflowers,” getting its international preem in Contemporary World Cinema. The program also includes world preems of Juan Carlos Tabio’s 18th century Cuban tale “Horn of Plenty,” Carlos Sorin’s “The Window,” Leonardo de Armas’ “Radio Love” and Chus Gutierrez’s “Return to Hansala.” Peruvian helmer Josue Mendez’s “Dioses” and Mexican helmer Gerardo Naranjo’s “Voy a explotar” make their North American bow in Vanguard, while “Birdsong,” Albert Serra’s improvised “Three Wise Men” rehash, bows in Visions. The work and life of investigative journalist Hollman Morris is the focus of Juan Jose Lozano’s doc “Temoin indesirable,” bowing in Real to Reel. Southeast Asian cinema gets a major boost with the world preems of Indian actress Nandita Das’ helming bow “Firaaq,” about religious clashes in the state of Gujarat in 2002; Indonesian Garin Nugroho’s “Under the Tree”; and Thai helmer Phawat Panangkasiri’s thriller “In the Shadow of the Naga,” all in the Contemporary World Cinema section. “The Full Monty” producer Uberto Pasolini’s helming bow, “Machan,” based on a true story about young Sri Lankans’ scheme to skip the country, also screens in Contemporary World Cinema. Indian helmer Priyadarshan’s “Kanchivaram,” about a weaver’s devotion to his daughter, bows in Special Presentations, while Japan’s Hirokazu Kore-eda (“After Life”) delivers the international preem of his dysfunctional family tale “Still Walking.” “Plastic City,” Yu Lik-wai’s tale about a Chinese outlaw, gets its North American preem. The program also offers the world preem of South Korean helmer So Yong Kim’s sophomore bow “Treeless Mountain” and international premieres of Adolfo Alix Jr.’s “Adela” and Ryosuke Hashiguchi’s “All Around Us.” “Achilles and the Tortoise,” the final film in Japanese vet helmer Takeshi Kitano’s trilogy, bows in the Masters program; Visions offers “The Sky Crawlers,” from Mamoru Oshii (“Ghost in the Shell”); and Vanguard presents Liu Fendou’s blackmail story “Ocean Flame.” “With programmer Raymond Phathanavirangoon now selecting our films from Southeast Asia, TIFF has increased its focus on the vibrant film communities in this region,” fest co-director Cameron Bailey said. Event runs Sept. 4-13.