Toronto rounds out final selections

Contemporary World Cinema sidebar adds 34 titles

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TORONTO -- The Toronto International Film Festival on Thursday (August 20) unveiled its final selections, including international premieres for South Korean director Lee Hey-jun's "Castaway on the Moon" and Mike Sandejas' "If I Knew What You Said," from the Philippines.

And the Masters sidebar added the latest work by veteran auteurs Lars von Trier, Amos Gitai, Francois Ozon, Michael Haneke and Margarethe von Trotta.

Hey-jun's offbeat romantic drama will unspool as part of the Contemporary World Cinema sidebar, which added 34 titles as Toronto finalized a September slate that comprises 335 films from 64 Countries.

The CWC program also booked international premieres for two Australian films, Rachel Perkins' "Bran Nue Dae" and Robert Conolly's "Balibo," Cesc Gay's "V.O.S.," from Spain, Italian director Giuseppe Capotondi's "The Double Hour" and Henrique Goldman's "Jean Charles," a British/Brazilian co-pro.

North American premieres fill out the rest of the CWC sidebar, which includes a host of Asian titles: Bui Thac Chuyen's "Adrift," from Vietnam, Malaysian director Ho Yuhang's "At The End of Daybreak," winner of Locarno's Netpac prize, and two Chinese titles, Yonfan's "Prince of Tears," which stars Taiwanese actors Fan Chih Wei and Terri Kwan, and Wan Ma Cai Dan's "The Search," a second feature shot in Tibet.

The latest European film bookings include Mia Hansen-Love's "Le Pere de mes Enfants" from France, German filmmaker Detlev Buck's HIV romancer "Same Same But Different," the Spanish prison drama "Cell 211," by Daniel Monzon, and Russian director Boris Khlebnikov's "Help Gone Mad," a modern-day Don Quixote tale.

In all, Toronto will screen 271 features this September, against 249 last year, as the crop of indie pics financed in better times by equity players arrives on the market.

Of that total, 242 are world, international or North American premieres, and 71 are first features.

The Masters sidebar, showcasing work by veteran directors, will include Lars von Trier's "Antichrist," which bowed in Cannes, and world premieres for Amos Gitai's Carmel," Suzana Amaral's "Hotel Atlantico," Francois Ozon's "Le Refuge" and Indian director Buddhadeb Dasgupta's "The Window."

There's also North American premieres for Michael Haneke's "The White Ribbon," Claire Denis' "White Material," and Margarethe von Trotta's "Vision," which stars Barbara Sukowa and is inspired by the life of mediaeval mystic Hildegard von Bingen.

Rounding out the Masters sidebar are North American premieres for Italian auteur Marco Bellocchio's "Vincere," Goran Paskaljevic's "Honeymoons," and Ukrainian director Kira Muratova's "Melody for a Street Organ."

Toronto earlier unveiled its U.S. studio and indie pics, which will screen at the festival with backing from directors and cast including Nicolas Cage, George Clooney, Colin Farrell, Michael Douglas, Penelope Cruz, Mariah Carey, Naomi Watts, and Jennifer Connelly and Paul Bettany on hand to tout the opening night film, "Creation," on Sept. 10.

The festival also rounded out its 34th installment by adding Jaco Van Dormael's sci-fi drama "Mr. Nobody," which stars Jared Leto, Sarah Polley and Diane Kruger, to its Special Presentations sidebar with a North American premiere.

And the Discovery program booked Columbian director Oscar Ruiz-Navia's "Crab Trap," a drama about a remote fishing village fending off attempts to build a resort, "Mall Girls," from Polish director Katarzyna Roslaniec, Indian director Laxmikant Shetgaonkar's "The Man Beyond the Bridge," to receive a world bow, and "Nora," Alla Kovgan and David Hinton's biopic about Zimbabwean dancer Nora Chipaumire.

"Nora" will be screened alongside Dyana Gaye's "Saint Louis Blues," a Senegalese musical about a shared taxi ride from Dakar to Saint Louis.

Also unveiled Thursday were two Sprockets titles, "Timetrip: The Curse of the Viking Witch, from Danish director Mogens Hagedorn, and New Zeland director Jonathan King's "Under the Mountain."

The Toronto International Film Festival is set to run from Sept. 10 to 19.
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