Almodovar, Solondz pics in Toronto

Special Presentations, Discovery and Vanguard sidebars set

TORONTO -- Pedro Almodovar's "Broken Embraces" and Todd Solondz's "Life During Wartime" will receive high-profile North American bows at the Toronto International Film Festival, organizers said Thursday.

As Toronto unveiled eight new Special Presentations titles, the festival said it booked Almodovar's latest Penelope Cruz starrer, which bowed in Cannes, and Solondz's part-sequel to "Happiness," which stars Allison Janney and Ciaran Hinds.

Other Special Presentations titles include world premieres for Italian director Renato De Maria's "The Front Line," British filmmaker Stephen Poliakoff's World War II thriller "Glorious 39" and "Kamui," a Kenichi Matsuyama-starring epic adventure about a fugitive ninja from Japanese auteur Yoichi Sai.

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Also Toronto-bound is a Canadian premiere for Lone Scherfig's "An Education," also from Britain, a North American bow for "The Prophet," by French director Jacques Audiard and an international bow for "The Secret of Their Eyes," an Argentinian/Spanish co-production from Juan Jose Campanella.

Toronto unveiled 21 more titles for its Discovery sidebar, including world premieres for J Blakeson's debut feature "The Disappearance of Alice Creed," Margreth Olin's "The Angel," Israeli director Leon Prudovsky's "Five Hours From Paris" and Ahmad Abdalla's "Heliopolis," from Egypt.

Other world bows for emerging directors as part of the Discovery program include the Belgian/Rwandan genocide pic "Le Jour ou Dieu est Parti en Voyage" from Phillippe van Leeuw, Josh Crook's "La Soga," a political thriller set in the Dominican Republic, and "Northless," Rigoberto Perezcano's drama about a Mexican in Tijuana looking to cross into the U.S.

Toronto booked three additional Asian titles for the Discovery sidebar: Japanese director Satoko Yokohama's "Bare Essence of Life," Koji Yakusho's "Toad's Oil," and the South Korean/French co-production "A Brand New Life," from Ounie Lecomte.

Elsewhere, Toronto's Vanguard banner welcomed world premieres for Swedish director Jesper Ganslandt's "The Ape," Paul King's "Bunny and the Bull" from Britain and the Belgian drama "My Queen Karo," from Dorothee van den Berghe.

There are also North American bows for the Johnnie To-produced crime drama "Accident," by director Soi Cheang, and Chinese director Lou Ye's "Spring Fever," a portrait of a doomed gay love triangle.

The Toronto International Film Festival, which is set to run Sept. 10-19, will make additional lineup announcements in the coming weeks.
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