‘Man’ opens Toronto fest

“I Love a Man in Uniform,” a psychological thriller that premiered at the Cannes Directors Fortnight, will launch the 10th annual Perspective Canada of the Toronto Festival of Festivals Sept. 9. Considered the premier showcase of new Canadian films, the section consists of some 50 pix, including 18 features.

Included in the program is actress/director Micheline Lanctot’s “Deux Actrices”; “The Lotus Eaters” from director Paul Shapiro; “Kanehsatake,” documentarian Alanis Obomsawin’s exploration of the 1990 confrontation between native Canadians and law enforcement; and “Zero Patience,” John Greyson’s critically acclaimed AIDS-themed musical.

Additionally, it will present a retrospective of its first 10 years called ” 10 X 10,” with overlooked and underrated shorts and features as selected by its programmers past and present. There will also be a symposium –“Whose Canon”– exploring Canadian cinema from how it’s perceived critically and administered through government agencies.

At a press conference Monday, it was also announced that director Denys Arcand’s “Love and Human Remains” will be screened as a festival gala. In a satellite feed, provided by Perspective sponsor AT&T, Arcand was grilled by journalists as to why his film was being premiered in Toronto and not his home base of Montreal.

“Well, it is an English film,” said Arcand. He added that he had no idea why or if there was a reason “Human Remains” was not playing Montreal’s World Film Festival in August.

Another controversy surrounding this year’s selection has centered on a massive letter-writing campaign spearheaded by producer Greg Klymkiew, whose wife’s film, “Jack of Hearts,” was rejected by the section’s committee. Klymkiew complained that the festival’s policy of only playing Canadian films in the Perspective section or as galas amounts to creating a program ghetto. He believes the film, a horror piece, would be equally appropriate in the event’s Midnight Madness.

Festival deputy director Piers Handling said the festival evolved its policy about Canadian production initially to build up the program. He noted that unlike other sections that are largely selected by an individual, the Perspective submissions are viewed and selected by a committee.

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