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Toronto gets ‘Between’ Loren, Ponti

Kiarostami's 'Ten' to unspool

MONTREAL — Italo-Canuck co-production “Between Strangers” will world preem at the Toronto Intl. Film Festival, it was announced Tuesday.

The Sophia Loren starrer is the feature directorial debut of her son Edoardo Ponti, and both will be at the screening as part of the festival’s Special Presentation series.

A number of other high-profile films will have their North American preems at Toronto, including Ken Loach’s “Sweet Sixteen,” Mike Leigh’s “All or Nothing” and Abbas Kiarostami’s “Ten.”

Ponti’s “Between Strangers” is about three women living in Toronto. Olivia (Loren) is stuck in a loveless marriage, while Catherine (Deborah Kara Unger) abandons her family to confront her mother’s killer. Natalie (Mira Sorvino) is in a power struggle with her photographer father (Klaus Maria Brandauer).

Brit helmer Loach’s “Sweet Sixteen” is a hard-hitting tale of a boy (Martin Compston) who takes up drug-dealing to rescue his mother and himself from Glasgow’s slums.

Leigh once again looks at working class life in “All or Nothing,” a portrait of a dysfunctional family. Both British pics will unspool in the Masters program.

Driven doctor

The same program will include the latest from Iranian filmmaker Kiarostami. “Ten” follows a female psychologist in Iran forced to close her office and counsel her patients in her car.

The Masters lineup also will feature the North American preem of “A Peck on the Cheek” from helmer Mani Ratnam. A 9-year-old girl’s life is turned upside-down when she learns she is adopted.

The Special Presentation lineup will include Australian pic “Dirty Deeds.” Helmer David Caesar’s film, starring Bryan Brown, is set in Sydney’s organized crime world in the 1960s.

Jerusalem-based helmer Elia Suleiman’s “Divine Intervention” is a love story about a Palestinian man (Suleiman) living in Jerusalem and a Palestinian woman (Manal Khader) living in Ramallah.

Fest will host the Canuck premiere of Japanese animation pic “Spirited Away,” a Disney release.

Toronto also has selected French filmmaker Francois Ozon’s acclaimed murder mystery “8 Femmes,” starring Catherine Deneuve, Isabelle Huppert, Emmanuelle Beart, Fanny Ardant and Virginie Ledoyen.

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