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'Young Victoria' closing Toronto Film Fest

World premiere of Atom Egoyan's 'Chloe' also on tap

TORONTO -- The British-made Queen Victoria biopic "The Young Victoria," directed by French Canadian Jean-Marc Vallee, will close the Toronto International Film Festival on Sept. 19 with a North American bow, organizers said Tuesday.

The period drama from GK Films, which stars Emily Blunt and Paul Bettany and portrays a politically-arranged marriage between Victoria and Prince Albert morphing into a genuine love match, is the first film from Vallee after the success at the Toronto festival of his 2005 coming-of-age drama C.R.A.Z.Y.," which won the festival's best Canadian feature film prize.

Vallee was thrilled with the news. "It's home, it's a prestigious festival that is very director-oriented. I'm excited to finally show it to my Canadian friends," he said.

"Young Victoria," based on a Julian Fellowes script and executive produced by Martin Scorsese, Graham King, Tim Headington and British duchess Sarah Ferguson, will see Toronto bookended by 19th century Brit dramas as the festival has already ordered "Creation," the Charles Darwin biopic from director Jon Amiel, the Recorded Picture Co. and BBC Films, to open its 34th installment on Sept. 10.

As Toronto rolled out its Canadian program, the festival also gave high-profile gala slots to the world premiere of Atom Egoyan's "Chloe," from Studiocanal and the Montecito Picture Co.

The Julianne Moore and Liam Neeson-starrer is executive produced by Jason Reitman, whose latest film, "Up In The Air" from Paramount, will also bow in Toronto next month.

Also receiving a world premiere at Roy Thomson Hall is Dilip Mehta's "Cooking With Stella," while Terry Gilliam's Canada/U.K. co-production "The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus" will receive a North American bow.

Festival co-director Cameron Bailey said this year's Canadian lineup, featuring a host of co-productions with U.S., Asian and European co-financing, reflected veteran Canadian directors increasingly shooting abroad as part of multiterritory projects.

"Our (Canadian) filmmakers are global, although they may be rooted in Canada," Bailey said.

 

Toronto also booked for the Special Presentations sidebar world premieres for Ruba Nadda's "Cairo Time," Peter Stebbings' "Defendor, which stars Woody Harrelson as an ordinary man who adopts a superhero persona, Jacob Tierney's "The Trotsky," and Brigitte Berman's documentary "Hugh Hefner: Playboy, Activist and Rebel."

And the Contemporary World Cinema program will feature world bows for Blaine Thurier's "A Gun To the Head," Carl Bessai's "Cole," Bruce Sweeney's "Excited," and Robert Stefaniuk's "Suck," a rock-driven comedy that features cameos by Alice Cooper, Moby, Iggy Pop, Carole Pope and Henry Rollins.

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