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Toronto festival gets ‘Eve’s Bayou’ preem

TORONTO — “Eve’s Bayou,” a drama about a well-to-do Southern family starring Samuel L. Jackson, will have its world premiere Sept. 7 at the Toronto Intl. Film Festival.

The film, distributed by Trimark Pictures, examines family life through the eyes of a 10-year-old girl, played by newcomer Jurnee Smollett.

Jackson, who co-produced the film with Caldecott Chubb, plays her father, the town doctor. The cast includes Lynn Whitfield (“The Josephine Baker Story”), Debbi Morgan (“Port Charles,” “All My Children”), Diahann Carroll, Vondie Curtis Hall and Branford Marsalis.

“Eve’s Bayou” was written by Kasi Lemmons, who makes her directorial debut.

Musical score is by jazz musician Terence Blanchard.

Festival organizers also announced the lineup for the third Planet Africa series featuring films from Mali, Jamaica, Egypt, South Africa and the U.S.

5 films in North American preems

Five films will have their North American premiere including Gaston Kabore’s “Buud Yam,” which took top prize at the Pan African Film Festival in Burkino Faso this year; “Dancehall Queen,” by Don Letts and Rick Elgood, which tells the tale of a street vendor who works outside of a dancehall in Kingston, Jamaica; Ramadan Suleman’s “Fools,” the first feature film written and directed by a black South African; John Akomfrah’s “Martin Luther King: Days of Hope”; and Adama Drabo’s “Taafe Fanga,” a satire from Mali that considers the impact on a quiet village when men are required to do women’s work.

Also on the program is Youssef Chahine’s “Destiny,” another challenge to fundamentalist Islam from Egypt’s top director; Safi Faye’s “Mossane,” a Senegalese tragedy about a girl who refuses the man she’d been promised to at birth; and the world premiere of Shirikiana Aina’s “Through the Door of No Return,” which turns an American’s voyage to Ghana into a reflection on slavery.

The short program features works by filmmakers in Tunisia, Namibia, Gabon and the U.S.

The festival runs from Sept. 4 to 13.

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