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Fest unleashes ‘Fido’

Toronto unveils Canuck program lineup

TORONTO — The Toronto Intl. Film Festival unveiled most of its Canadian lineup Tuesday, including Andrew Currie’s zombie laffer “Fido,” which will open the fest’s Canada First! program, featuring emerging talent from the Great White North.

“Fido” stars Billy Connolly as a lovable zombie who mistakenly eats his next-door neighbor.

Other homegrown fare includes the feature debut from thesp-turned-director Sarah Polley, “Away From Her.” An adaptation of an Alice Munro short story about a wife’s slide into Alzheimer’s, pic stars Gordon Pinsent and Julie Christie and will be a Gala Presentation.

Returning filmmakers include Guy Madden with a Special Presentation of “Brand Upon the Brain!,” a silent film screened with live musical accompaniment, and veteran filmmaker Allan King, who will celebrate five decades as a filmmaker with his latest documentary, “EMPz 4 LIFE,” as part of the Masters Program.

Other Special Presentations are the North American preem of Philippe Falardeau’s “Congorama,” “The Best of Norman McLaren” and “Manufactured Landscapes,” from Jennifer Baichwal with collaborator Peter Mettler.

Artist-filmmaker Peter Mettler, whose work includes “Gambling, God and LSD,” is the subject of the Canadian Retrospective Showcase.

The fest’s Canadian lineup includes the previously announced opening-night film, “The Journals of Knud Rasmussen,” from Zacharias Kunuk and Norman Cohn (“Atanarjuat: The Fast Runner.”)

The Canada First! lineup of nine features includes eight world preems. In addition to “Fido,” they are: “Acts of Imagination” from Carolyn Combs; Jean Chateauvert’s “La coupure”; “End of the Line” from Maurice Devereaux; Paul Fox’s “Everything’s Gone Green”; “Mercy” from Mazdak Taebi; “A Stone’s Throw” from Camelia Frieberg; and “Sur la trace d’Igor Rizzi,” directed by Noel Mitrani. Patrice Sauve’s “Cheech” will make its Toronto premiere at the fest.

Canuck films joining the Contemporary World Cinema program are the world premieres of “Citizen Duane” from Michael Mabbott, Reginald Harkema’s “Monkey Warfare” and “Sleeping Dogs” from Terrence Odette.

Also on the slate, the Canadian premiere of “Unnatural and Accidental” from filmmaker Carl Bessai (“Emile”) and “Un dimanche a Kigali,” from Robert Favreau, a Toronto preem.

Joining the Visions slate is “Dans les villes,” from Catherine Martin (“Marriages”). Also from Martin, “L’espirit des Lieux” will be part of the Real to Reel program along with Jim Brown and Gary Burns’ “Radiant City” and Martin Lavut’s “Remembering Arthur.”

Fest runs Sept. 7-16.