Toronto Documentary Lineup Includes Films by Errol Morris, Frederick Wiseman

7:07 AM PST 07/30/2013 by Etan Vlessing
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Errol Morris

The festival sidebar will feature the North American premiere of a movie about Donald Rumsfeld and one by Penn & Teller's Teller.

TORONTO – The Toronto International Film Festival on Tuesday unveiled its documentary lineup, which will include the latest films by Oscar winner Errol Morris, Teller of Penn & Teller fame and veteran filmmaker Frederick Wiseman's 39th film.

The TIFF Docs sidebar, formerly called Reel to Real, booked a North American premiere for Morris’s The Unknown Known: The Life and Times of Donald Rumsfeld.

The film about the former U.S. defense secretary, covering his work from Watergate to the war on terror, is slated to debut in competition at the Venice International Film Festival.

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Morris' The Fog of War, a profile of another former U.S. defense secretary, Robert McNamara, also had its North American premiere at TIFF before winning the Oscar for best documentary feature in 2004.

Teller is bringing to Toronto Tim's Vermeer, about a man looking to re-create the photo-realistic techniques of the 17th century Dutch painter Johannes Vermeer.

Sony Pictures Classics picked up the art documentary for a 2014 release ahead of its TIFF bow.

The festival will also feature the North American premiere for Frederik Wiseman's At Berkeley, about the U.C. Berkeley campus.

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Other docs that will be premiering at TIFF include Mission Congo, David Turner and Lara Zizic's film about the struggle for children's rights in the war-torn African nation, and Sarah McCarthy's adoption doc The Dark Matter of Love.

Also getting a world bow in Toronto is John Maloof and Charlie Siskel's film about Vivian Maier, a longtime nanny in Chicago who had a hidden life as a major 20th century photographer (Curb Your Enthusiasm's Jeff Garlin is executive producing); Midway, Chris Jordan's doc about the laysan albatross birds that mistake plastic ocean-borne trash for food; and Madeleine Sackler's Unstable Elements, about an underground resistance group struggling for human rights in Belarus.

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Toronto also booked world premieres for Beyond the Edge, New Zealand filmmaker Leanne Pooley's recreation of Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay's 1953 Mount Everest climb; Indian director Pan Nalin's Faith Connections; Allison Berg and Frank Keraudren's The Dog, about the real-life bank robber depicted in Dog Day Afternoon; and Spanish director Ventura Pons' Ignasi M.

Four Canadian docs are getting world premieres in Toronto: Barry Avrich's Filthy Gorgeous: The Bob Guccione Story, about the Penthouse founder; Jody Shapiro's Burt's Buzz; Alan Zweig's When Jews Were Funny; and veteran First Nations filmmaker Alanis Obomsawin's Hi-Ho Mistahey!

TIFF will also feature North American debuts for three films that bowed at Cannes: French director Marcel Ophuls' autobiographical film Ain't Misbehavin; U.K. director Mark Cousins' A Story of Children and Film, about movies aimed at young audiences; and the 220-minute Les Dernier des Injustes (The Last of the Unjust), from Claude Lanzmann of Shoah fame.

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TIFF programmers also unveiled the lineup for the City to City sidebar, which will spotlight films from Athens, many of which focus on that country's economic crisis.

Greek filmmakers bringing their latest work to Toronto include writer-director Yannis Sakaridis' first feature, Wild Duck; Thanos Anastopoulos' The Daughter, a child-kidnapping thriller that bowed in Berlin; and a world premiere for Yorgos Servetas' Standing Aside, Watching.

The Greek film program includes North American bows for Elina Psykou's first feature, The Eternal Return of Antonis Paraskevas, completed on a shoestring budget using crowdfunding and tax shelter financing; Alexandros Avranas' Miss Violence; and September, by Penny Panayotopoulou, a Germany-Greece co-production.

And the Vanguard program, for experimental titles, has world premieres for The Fake, the animated feature from Korean director Yeon Sang-ho; We Gotta Get Out of This Place, by American filmmakers Simon and Zeke Hawkins; Spanish director Juan Cavestany's People in Places; Zack Parker's suspense thriller Proxy, starring Alexia Rasmussen and Alexa Havins; and Sapi, by Filipino director Brillante Mendoza.

The Toronto International Film Festival, set to run from Sept. 5-15, will make additional lineup announcements in the coming weeks.

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