Toronto fest announces more star power

Bruce Springsteen, Vincent Gallo to participate

TORONTO -- Toronto's upcoming movie marathon could well empty Hollywood for all the star talent due on this city's red carpets in September.

Vincent Gallo will screen his new film "Promises Written in Water" at next month's Toronto International Film Festival, while also on hand to support Jerzy Skolimowski's terrorist flick "Essential Killing," in which he plays a Taliban fighter.

Both films will bow in Venice before shifting to Toronto, which unveiled the rest of its star-packed September 9-19 lineup on Tuesday.

Gallo's low-budget, 16-millimeter black-and-white "Promises" is a late addition to the Visions sidebar, which also includes North American bows for Michael Nyman's "Moscow 11:19:31," and Sophie Fiennes' "Over Your Cities Grass Will Grow," a portrait of contemporary artist Anselm Keifer.

The higher-profile Contemporary World Cinema sidebar added world bows for "22nd of May," the latest film by Belgium director Koen Mortier; "Africa United," by British filmmaker Debs Gardner-Paterson; "Late Autumn," from Korean director Kim Tae-Yong, starring Tang Wei; and a North American debut for Kelly Reichardt's "Meek's Cutoff," set in 1845 on the Oregon Trail and the U.S. director's first departure from a contemporary setting.

Also getting a North American bow in Toronto is Feng Xiaogang's "Aftershock," an earthquake drama co-produced by Imax and the Chinese film studio Huayi Brothers Media.

Other world premieres include the Bill Skarsgard-starrer "Behind Blue Skies," by Swedish director Hannes Holm, "The Edge," by Russian director Alexey Uchitel, German filmmaker Isabelle Stever's "Blessed Events," Norwegian veteran Bent Hamer's "Home for Christmas" and John Gray's "White Irish Drinkers."

The Contemporary World Cinema sidebar, with 45 films in all, also features the latest work by Tom Tykwer, Tsui Hark, Marion Hansel, Hong Sangsoo, Ann Hui, Gabriel Range and Khalo Matabane.

Toronto also signaled it won't lack stars on the red carpet next month.

Talent expected to strut the red carpet here next month includes Nicole Kidman, Colin Firth, Hilary Swank, Robert De Niro, Clive Owen, Helen Mirren, Natalie Portman, Edward Norton and Aamir Khan.

Also Toronto-bound to tout their latest movies are Catherine Deneuve, Charlotte Rampling, Kristin Scott- Thomas, Rachel Weisz, Marion Cotillard, Carey Mulligan, Catherine Keener and Jeon Do-Yeon, Kevin Spacey and Matt Damon.

TIFF snappers will also pursue Josh Hartnett, Ryan Reynolds, Mickey Rourke, Keanu Reeves, Vincent Cassel, Uma Thurman, Bill Murray, Bob Hoskins, Javier Bardem, Woody Harrelson, Zach Galifianakis and Will Ferrell.

Then there's the filmmakers bound for Toronto, to include Clint Eastwood to tout his supernatural thriller "Hereafter," Darren Aronofsky, Mike Leigh, David Schwimmer, Ben Affeck, Danny Boyle, John Sayles, Robert Redford, who's bringing his acquisition title "Conspirator," Julian Schnabel, John Carpenter and John Turturro.

Other Visions sidebar titles added Tuesday include "13 Assassins," a period action film by Japanese cult director Takeshi Miike, the North American bow of "Film Socialism," from Jean-Luc Godard, and "I Wish I Knew," a documentary on Shanghai by Jia Zhang-ke for the 2010 World Expo.

Toronto also booked Amos Gitai's "Roses a Credit" for a world bow, and North American premieres for Ken Loach's "Route Irish," "The Sleeping Beauty," by TIFF favorite Catherine Breillat, and "The Strange Case of Angelica," by another perennial Toronto attendee, Manoel de Oliveira.

Also playing in the Masters sidebar in Toronto is "Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives," Apichatpong Weerasethakul's Palme d'Or winner.

TIFF's Mavericks program this year will see Bruce Springsteen, the subject of a documentary from Thom Zimny, interviewed by Edward Norton; directors Ken Loach and Paul Laverty talk to Michael Moore about politics and cinema; and Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates will participate in a panel on education with "An Inconvenient Truth" director Davis Guggenheim, who's bringing his latest film, "Superman," an examination of the crisis-ridden U.S. education system, to the festival.

TIFF will open Sept. 9 with "Score: A Hockey Musical" from hometown director Michael McGowan, and close with Massy Tadjedin's "Last Night," a film starring Keira Knightley, Eva Mendes and Sam Worthington.

Click here for the entire film schedule for the Toronto International Film Festival.
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