Toronto unveils documentary slate
Including world premiere of Alex Gibney's 'Client 9'TORONTO -- Tribeca may have offered a sneak peek, but the Toronto International Film Festival has the world premiere of Alex Gibney's "Client 9: The Rise and Fall of Eliot Spitzer" from Magnolia Pictures.
Oscar-winning Gibney's latest documentary about the sex scandal that enveloped the former New York governor, and which includes an on-camera interview with Spitzer and some of the players that brought about his political downfall, was billed as a "work-in-progress" at Tribeca.
Now Toronto gets Gibney's finished doc ahead of a Nov. 5 theatrical release, and Spitzer getting a CNN primetime newshow gig this fall alongside Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Kathleen Parker.
"Client 9" also figured Wednesday among 25 factual films unveiled by fest organizers as part of Toronto's Real to Reel, Masters and Sprockets Family Zone sidebars.
The fest booked a gala world premiere at Roy Thomson Hall for "The Promise: The Making of Darkness on the Edge of Town," Thom Zimny's portrait of Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band in the studio to record their fourth album.
The Boss portrait is the latest from Zimny, who completed earlier concert films about Springsteen and his E Street Band performing live in London, Barcelona and New York City.
The September festival's doc slate also includes world bows for Werner Herzog's "Cave of Forgotten Dreams," a 3D portrait of the Chauvet caves of southern France, Errol Morris' "Tabloid," which tells the story of a former Miss Wyoming on a bizarre quest for true love that produced tabloid headlines, and "!Women Art Revolution -- A Secret History," Lynn Hershman Leeson's portrait of women artists from Judy Chicago to the Guerilla Girls.
War and global politics as ever figure in Toronto's doc lineup, including a world premiere for Norwegian director Vibeke Lokkegerg's "Tears of Gaza," a portrait of Israel's 2008-2009 bombings of Gaza and its impact on local civilians, British director Kim Longinotto's "Pink Saris," about a female enforcer of local justice on the streets of Uttar Pradesh, India, and an international premiere for Israeli director Shlomo Eldar's "Precious Life," about an Israeli pediatrician and a Palestinian mother balancing emotions and rival politics as they try to treat a baby with an incurable genetic disease.
And besides the Springsteen biopic, Toronto also booked music-themed docs like Sarah McCarthy's "The Sound of Mumbai: A Musical," about a group of young slum-dwellers in Mumbai, India, performing "The Sound of Music" with a classical orchestra, and an international premiere for Paul Clarke's "Mother of Rock: Lillian Roxon," about a major player in New York's 1960s and 1970s punk scene.
Elsewhere, Toronto booked "Inside Job," an investigation into Wall Street's 2009 financial meltdown from Charles Ferguson ("No End in Sight") that bowed in Cannes and is set for an upcoming Sony Pictures Classics theatrical release.
Non-fiction film fans will also get their fill in Toronto with Danish master Jorgen Leth's "Erotic Man, and "Nostalgia for the Light," Patricio Guzman portrait of astronomers in Chile's Atacama Desert peering deep into the cosmos, Linda Hoaglund's "ANPO," which chronicles local resistance to U.S. military bases in Japan, Janus Metz' "Armadillo," winner of Cannes Critics Week and receiving a North American premiere in Toronto, and Frederick Wiseman's "Boxing Gym."
Top Toronto doc programmer Thom Powers has also booked a world bow for award-winning filmmaker Ondi Timoner's "Cool It," "The Game of Death," from French filmmakers Christophe Nick and Thomas Bornot, Japanese director Naomi Kawase's "Genpin," and "Guest," from Spanish director Jose Luis Guerin.
And J. Clay Tweel's "Make Believe," about young magicians challenging to become Teen World Champion Magician, will feature in the Sprocket Family Zone program.
Wavelengths, Toronto's experimental film sidebar, also unveiled six programs that feature 36 films and videos, including the latest work from James Benning, Nathaniel Dorsky, Paolo Gioli, Ken Jacobs and Peter Tscherkassky.
There's also work from emerging avante garde artists T. Marie, Tomonari Nishikawa, Oliver Husain, Kevin Jerome Everson and Rebecca Meyers.
The Toronto International Film Festival, which is set to run from Sept. 9 to 19, will make additional film lineup announcements in the coming weeks.