'Down for Life' to premiere at Toronto

Gang drama added to Contemporary World Cinema

TORONTO -- Alan Jacobs' gang drama "Down for Life" is up for a world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival, one of 11 titles added Thursday to its Contemporary World Cinema sidebar.

The U.S. indie, based on a New York Times article, portrays a day in the life of a 15-year-old Latina gang leader and stars Danny Glover and local youths in South Central Los Angeles, where it was shot on location.

Also booked for the Toronto sidebar for world bows are Golam Rabbany Biplob's "Beyond the Circle," a political fable from Bangladesh; Iranian director Shalizeh Arefpour's "Heiran"; and "Sawasdee Bangkok," an ensemble of four Bangkok-themed films by local Thai directors Wisit Sasanatieng, Aditya Assarat, Kongdej Jaturanrasmee and Pen-ek Ratanaruang.

There's also international premieres for Australian director Ana Kokkinos' "Blessed," Giuseppe Piccioni's "Giulia Doesn't Date at Night," from Italy, and Finnish director Mika Kaurismaki's "The House of Branching Love," a tale of a painful divorce between a family therapist and a business trainer.

Also Toronto-bound is the romantic thriller "Rabia," a Spanish/Columbian co-pro by Sebastian Cordero, Czech director Jan Hrebejk's "Shameless," and a North Ameican premiere for "Slovenian Girl," Damjan Kozole's drama about a young university student who spots sex clients in newspaper ads, with hellish results.

The CWC sidebar also will give a world premiere to the U.S. indie pic "Tanner Hall," a peek into a New England all-girls boarding school by Francesca Gregorini, the daughter of actress Barbara Bach, and Tatiana Von Furstenberg, daughter of fashion designer Diane Von Furstenberg.

Toronto also announced for its Visions sidebar seven more titles, including a world bow for Harmony Korine's "Trash Humpers," a hand-held video return to " 'Gummo' territory" in a portrait of a loser-gang cult-freak collective, Sri Lankan director Vimukthi Jayasundara's "Between Two Worlds," U.S. filmmaker Jason Lehel's "Gaia," and the dialogue-free "Hiroshima," from Uruguayan director Pablo Stoll.

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Other experimental films in the Visions program include Italian director Luca Guadagnino's "I Am Love," which stars Tilda Swinton, and Israeli filmmaker Samuel Maoz's "Lebanon," a war drama set during the June 1982 the Israel-Lebanon war, and "To the Sea," from Mexican director Pedro Gonzalez-Rubio.

The 34th Toronto International Film Festival is set to run Sept. 10-19.
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