TIFF announces more flicks

Jul 13, 2004 by Ian Evans

At a press conference at Toronto’s C Lounge, scantily-clad bartenders passed drinks to the assembled reporters. The press wasn’t there to see the toned ladies, but rather to learn more details about the upcoming 29th Toronto International Film Festival.

New Festival Co-Director Noah Cowan, who told the press that he was still in his “honeymoon period” released the names of some more of the films that will screen at the popular film fest.

Director Taylor Hackford’s Ray will have its world premiere as a gala at the Festival. The film, which stars Jamie Foxx, traces the life of the late musician Ray Charles. The film also stars film also stars Kerry Washington, Clifton Powell, Harry Lennix, Terrence Dashon Howard, Larenz Tate, Richard Shiff, Curtis Armstrong, Aunjanue Ellis, Sharon Warren and Regina King.

The Festival, which celebrates a different nation’s national cinema each year, has chosen South Africa as the theme this year. South Africa: Ten Years Later looks at South Africa’s cinema ten years after the end of apartheid. Red Dust, the directorial debut from Tom Hooper, will also receive its world premiere as a Gala Presentation. Based on Gillian Slovo’s novel of the same name, and starring Academy Award®-winner Hilary Swank and Chiwetel Ejiofor, Red Dust is a moving and suspense-filled story that explores the effects of South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Other films in the South African programme include Zola Mesko’s Drum, Ian Gabriel’s Forgiveness, Max and Mona from Teddy Matterra, Zulu Love Letter by Ramadan Suleyman, Tony Strasborg’s documentary, A South African Love Story — Walter & Albertina Sisulu, Mark Bamford’s Cape of Good Hope, and Mozart – The Music of the Violin, a short film from Mickey Dube.

Also getting the gala treatment, director Zhang Yimou’s House of Flying Daggers. The North American premiere, which stars Zhang Ziyi, Takeshi Kaneshiro, Andy Lau, and Song Dandan, is an action-packed tale of love and conflict.

Cowan also announced some of the features in the Masters programme. They include Jean-Luc Godard’s Notre Musique, Benoît Jacquot’s A Tout De Suite, Patricio Guzmán’s Salvador Allende, and the Demain on Déménage, from Chantal Akerman.

So far, five titles have been confirmed for this year’s Visions programme: Th`me Je, from Françoise Romand; A Hole in My Heart, by Lukas Moodysson; Vital from Shinya Tsukamoto; The Dead, by Lisandro Alonso; and Tarnation, Jonathan Caouette’s debut feature film.

Over in the Special Presentations programme, the Festival currently includes three world and three North American premieres: John Sayles’ Silver City (with Chris Cooper, Richard Dreyfuss and Danny Huston), Roger Michell’s Enduring Love (with Daniel Craig, Samantha Morton and Rhys Ifans), Terry George’s Hotel Rwanda, Dylan Kidd’s P.S. (starring Laura Linney and Topher Grace and a supporting cast featuring Marcia Gay Harden, Gabriel Byrne, Lois Smith and Paul Rudd), Darrell James Roodt’s Yesterday ( the first feature film ever shot in the Zulu language) and Palindromes, the latest from Todd Solondz. It features a cast that includes Jennifer Jason Leigh, Ellen Barkin, Shayna Levine, Stephen Singer, and Chris Penn.

So far, the Contemporary World Cinema programme, includes six titles hailing from eight countries. The line-up includes: Lucrecia Martel’s The Holy Girl; Cate Shortland’s first feature, Somersault; The Woodsman, Nicole Kassell’s feature film debut featuring Kevin Bacon, Kyra Sedgwick, Benjamin Bratt, Mos Def, Eve, and David Alan Grier; Brodeuses from first-time director Eléonore Faucher; Eytan Fox’s Walk On Water; and Brothers, from returning director Susanne Bier.

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