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Sarah Gavron’s Rocks, Julie Delpy’s My Zoe and Darius Marder’s debut feature Sound of Metal are set to receive world premieres as part of the Platform juried competition at the 2019 Toronto Film Festival, organizers said Wednesday.
British director Gavron’s Rocks drama about London schoolgirls will open the competitive sidebar, now in its fifth year. Gavron is best known for earlier films like Suffragette, starring Meryl Streep, Carey Mulligan and Helena Bonham Carter, and the 2007 novel-to-movie adaptation Brick Lane.
Her third feature stars newcomer Bukky Bakray as Rocks, a teenager struggling to take care of herself and her younger brother.
And Platform will close with Italian director Pietro Marcello’s Martin Eden, which is based on the 1909 Jack London novel and stars Luca Marinelli as a sailor trying to remake himself as a writer.
The section allows Toronto to move beyond the glitz and glamour of Hollywood stars on its red carpets to focus on auteur-driven titles, including foreign language pics. Cameron Bailey, TIFF artistic director and co-head and who programmed the competition with co-curator Andrea Picard told The Hollywood Reporter that Platform looks to “elevate directors who are working at the height of their game.”
Other non-Hollywood studio movies in the section include Marder’s Sound of Metal, a Riz Ahmed and Olivia Cooke-starring musical drama about a heavy metal drummer whose life goes into freefall when he faces the first signs of hearing loss; Julie Delpy’s My Zoe, a drama about a mother’s journey of grief that also stars Richard Armitage and Daniel Bruhl; and Alice Winocour’s Proxima, a drama about an astronaut preparing for a one-year mission in space that stars Eva Green and Matt Dillon.
There’s also world premieres for Anthony Chen’s Wet Season, a follow up to the Singaporean director’s Cannes Camera d’Or winner Ilo Ilo; Federico Veiroj’s The Moneychanger, a period thriller set in Uruguay; David Zonana’s debut feature Workforce, about a group of Mexican construction workers seeking justice after a workplace accident; Kazik Radwanski’s Anne at 13,000 ft, which stars Deragh Campbell; and Paula Hernandez’ The Sleepwalkers.
New this year for the Platform sidebar is Toronto opening the jury up to industry professionals like Berlinale artistic director Carlo Chatrian and film critic Jessica Kiang, rather than enlist established film directors as in earlier juries.
“It’s not only directors that have something to say. We did want to go beyond simply having directors on the jury,” Bailey explained.
Previous Platform selections include Alex Ross Perry’s Her Smell, Armando Iannucci’s Death of Stalin, Natalie Portman’s Jackie biopic and Barry Jenkins’ Moonlight in 2016.
The 44th Toronto Film Festival is set to run Sept. 5-15.
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