Imported stars dominate TIFF Canuck films

Keitel, Caan among actors featured in Sept. 9-19 showcase

TORONTO -- Look for American talent to light up Canadian acquisition titles at the Toronto International Film Festival next month.

As Canadian indie movies increasingly cast Hollywood stars as boxoffice draws, Toronto organizers on Tuesday unveiled a Canuck movie lineup dominated by imported stars performing alongside local talent.

Toronto booked a gala slot at Roy Thomson Hall for Jonathan Sobol's "A Beginners Guide to Endings," which stars Harvey Keitel, Scott Caan and Wendy Crewson, and a world premiere for Jacob Tierney's "Good Neighbours," a Montreal-set thriller that stars Scott Speedman, Emily Hampshire and Jay Baruchel.

U.S. and other foreign talent figures in the mix for "A Night for Dying Tigers," the Terry Miles drama starring Jennifer Beals and Gil Bellows, while another Canuck drama, Ed Gass-Donnelly's "Small Town Murder Songs," is top-lined by Swedish actor Peter Stormare, Jill Hennessy ("Law and Order"), Aaron Poole and Martha Plimpton.

Foreign actors also dominate the Canada First sidebar for new work by emerging Canadian directors, including Zach Braff starring opposite Isabelle Blais in Deborah Chow's "High Cost of Living," a dark drama about an unlikely relationship, while Molly Parker top-lines "Oliver Sherman," the Ryan Redford drama and Andie MacDowell, Kat Dennings and Josh Lucas star in Mike Goldbach's "Daydream Nation."

Toronto earlier announced gala slots for Canadian films, including co-productions, heavy on star wattage, such as the South Africa-set "The Bang Bang Club," Steven Silver's Canada/South Africa co-production starring Ryan Phillippe, Malin Akerman and Taylor Kitsch; and the Dustin Hoffman and Paul Giamatti-starrer "Barney's Version," from Richard J. Lewis.

Also Toronto-bound is George Hickenlooper's "Casino Jack," which stars Kevin Spacey as convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff, and Mike McGowan's "Score: A Hockey Musical," to open TIFF on Sept. 9 with Olivia Newton-John and Nelly Furtado starring.

The Toronto International Film Festival is set to run Sept. 9-19.