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Toronto unveils Canadian selection

Films include 'Fifty Dead,' 'Blindness'

Helmer Kari Skogland’s “Fifty Dead Men Walking” starring Ben Kingsley, and Brazilian helmer Fernando Meirelles’ Cannes player “Blindness” are among pics in the Toronto Intl. Ftilm Festival’s Canadian selection, unveiled Tuesday.

The festival had previously announced that the opening-night Gala will be the Canadian WWI romantic epic “Passchendaele” from helmer Paul Gross.

“Fifty Dead Men Walking,” based on a true story about a mole inside Irish terrorist group the IRA, is also a Gala presentation.

The other Canadian Gala announced Tuesday is helmer Michael McGowan’s “One Week,” about a guy on a motorcycle trip across Canada.

“Blindness,” which stars Mark Ruffalo and Julianne Moore in a Canadian-Japanese-Brazilian co-production, is also a Special Presentation.

Other Canadian Special Presentations include helmer Deepa Mehta’s “Heaven on Earth,” an alternative drama about domestic violence in Toronto; and Montreal helmer Philippe Falardeau’s “It’s Not Me, I Swear!” based on Bruno Hebert’s novel about a boy dealing with his mother’s departure in 1968.

Canadian Open Vault, which always showcases a newly restored Canuck pic, will this year turn the spotlight on Quebec auteur Francois Girard’s 1993 pic “32 Short Films About Glenn Gould.”

The Canada First! series, which focuses on first features, will open with Neil Burns’ “Edison and Leo,” the country’s first stop-motion animation feature.

Other Canada First! pics include Marie-Helene Cousineau and Madeline Ivalu’s “Before Tomorrow,” Warren Sonada’s “Cooper’s Camera” and Randall Cole’s “Real Time,” starring Randy Quaid and Jay Baruchel in the tale of a gambler and the hitman set to kill him.

The Contemporary World Cinema program includes a number of local pics, notably Lea Pool’s “Maman est chez le coiffeur,” a drama about a couple splitting in the late ’60s, and Francis Leclerc’s “Un ete sans point ni coup sur,” a family film set in 1969 about a Montreal boy obsessed with baseball.

“Toronto Stories,” also in Contemporary World Cinema, is a four-part film with each part directed by a different helmer — David Weaver, Sudz Sutherland, Aaron Woodley and Sook-Yin Lee.

The same section will feature Carl Bessai’s “Mothers & Daughters” and Rodrigue Jean’s “Lost Song,” about post-partum depression.

The Real to Reel docu program features Malcolm Rogge’s “Under Rich Earth,” Astra Taylor’s “Examined Life” and Luc Bourdon’s “La memoire des anges.”

The experimental Vanguard section features Bruce McDonald’s “Pontypool” and Montreal helmer Rafael Ouellet’s second feature “Derriere moi.”

Gallic helmer Olivier Assayas and British producer Stephen Wooley will take part in the fifth Canadian Initiatives’ Talent Lab, which provides a four-day intensive program for 22 emerging filmmakers.

Fest runs Sept. 4 to 13.

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