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Yankees, stay home! | English spoken a lot here this year | Overseas overview
Toronto Film Festival

Brit pics are waving the Union Jack high this year in Toronto as the fest program is bursting with solid U.K. fare.

Tom Hooper’s King George VI biopic, “The King’s Speech,” has been creating a royal buzz since production began. Pic features a stellar Brit cast including Colin Firth, Geoffrey Rush and Helena Bonham Carter and sees a young King George reluctantly assume the throne after his brother, Edward, abdicates. Although pic will not preem at Venice as was anticipated, it will be a hot ticket at TIFF. The Weinstein Co. has snapped up North American rights in addition to a handful of foreign markets.

Helmer-scribe Rowan Joffe’s “Brighton Rock,” based on the Graham Greene tome, preems at the fest. Pic brings together Helen Mirren, Sam Riley and rising thesp Andrea Risebough to the screen and marks the first project greenlit from the development slate of U.K. distrib Optimum Releasing, backed by its French owner StudioCanal.

BBC Films and Kudos also produce.

Next up is “Calendar Girls” helmer Nigel Cole, with his world preem of “Made in Dagenham,” based on the 1968 strike at the Ford Dagenham car plant where female workers walked to protest against sexual discrimination.

Pic, produced by Stephen Woolley and Elisabeth Karlsen’s shingle Number 9 Films, even had industryites at Cannes talking up star Sally Hawkins’ central performance. Rosamond Pike and Bob Hoskins also star.

DNA Films’ love story “Never Let Me Go,” backed by Fox Searchlight and Film4, world preems in Canada as well.

Pic, helmed by Mark Romanek (“One Hour Photo”) and starring Keira Knightley, Carey Mulligan and new “Spider-Man” thesp Andrew Garfield, promises to be one of the major films in the fest. Script, adapted by “Sunshine” and “28 Days Later” scribe Alex Garland from Kazuo Ishiguro’s bestseller, follows three childhood friends forced to come to terms with the strength of the love they feel for each other while preparing themselves for adulthood.

Elsewhere, “West Is West,” the sequel to 1999’s Brit-com pic “East Is East,” (both penned by Ayub Khan-Din), is sure to gather industry auds, while John Madden’s thriller “The Debt” has also generated healthy buzz.