Films featuring Gyllenhaal, Radcliffe, late Monteith headed to TIFF
Published Wednesday, August 7, 2013 2:51PM EDT
Last Updated Wednesday, August 7, 2013 5:36PM EDT
TORONTO -- Jake Gyllenhaal, Daniel Radcliffe and the late Cory Monteith are among the stars of Canadian features headed to this year's Toronto International Film Festival.
Organizers revealed a star-packed slate from homegrown directors Wednesday including Denis Villeneuve, Michael Dowse, Jennifer Baichwal, Louise Archambault, Bruce McDonald and Xavier Dolan.
They include Monteith's ensemble drama "All The Wrong Reasons," a debut feature from writer/director Gia Milani that also stars Emily Hampshire, Kevin Zegers and Karine Vanasse.
"It's not a 'Glee'-type performance -- it's about an adult with adult problems," senior programmer Steve Gravestock said of the late "Glee" star's turn in the film.
"All these characters have these really sort of tortured histories and it's about them bubbling up and people trying to deal with them."
Monteith was found dead in a Vancouver hotel room in July. An autopsy revealed the 31-year-old actor died of an overdose of heroin and alcohol.
In the film, he plays an ambitious department store manager married to Vanasse's character.
"Cory is really good in the film and it's really great that we're going to get to celebrate him by showing one of his most interesting, I'd say most mature performances," said Gravestock.
Meanwhile, the Oscar-nominated Villeneuve returns to the fest with "Enemy," a Canada/Spain co-production starring Gyllenhaal as a man torn between his mistress and his wife. That's in addition to his Hugh Jackman thriller "Prisoners," a U.S.-backed feature previously announced for the fest.
"That's a rare occasion, actually," Gravestock noted of the double entry, going on to describe "Enemy" as "surreal" in tone.
"This is quite a powerful, really disturbing piece that probably has the most unique view of Toronto I've seen in quite some time."
Meanwhile, Dowse follows up last year's hockey romp "Goon" with the romantic comedy "The F Word," a Canada/Ireland co-production starring Radcliffe, Zoe Kazan, Adam Driver and Canadian actress Megan Park.
Its Toronto-based screenwriter Elan Mastai described the film as a frank comedy about men, women and friendship. He added that the "Harry Potter" star happens to be very funny.
"It turns out, thankfully, he's actually hilarious," said Mastai.
"When you meet him he's this incredibly self-effacing, witty, dry, grounded guy and we realized if we could just capture what he's like just hanging out with him casually on camera we'd have something really special."
McDonald's "The Husband," is about a man struggling to keep it together as his wife is released from jail for sleeping with a 14-year-old boy and Dolan's "Tom At The Farm" is a Canada/France co-production about a young advertising copywriter who travels to the country for a funeral.
Meanwhile, Aidan Quinn and Taylor Schilling star in Wiebke von Carolsfeld's "Stay," about a woman who falls in love with a disgraced professor who refuses to consider fatherhood when she becomes pregnant.
Baichwal collaborates with photographer Edward Burtynsky for the documentary "Watermark," about our relationship with water.
The fest's Canadian features programmer says it was an incredibly competitive year.
"We got more feature submissions than we ever have before, over 260 films we looked at, so it was really competitive and the lineup turned out great," said Agata Smoluch Del Sorbo, noting they usually see between 200 and 250 Canadian feature submissions.
"It turned out to be a really big year for First Nations films. We have three in the festival."
She pointed to "Empire of Dirt" by Peter Stebbings, "Rhymes for Young Ghouls" by Jeff Barnaby and the previously announced "Hi-Ho Mistahey!" by Alanis Obomsawin.
Other previously announced Canadian features include Jonathan Sobol's "The Art of the Steal," Don McKellar's "The Grand Seduction" and Jeremiah Chechik's "The Right Kind of Wrong."
Jennifer Beals, meanwhile, appears in Terry Miles' "Cinemanovels," which stars Lauren Lee Smith as a woman who prepares a film retrospective for her late estranged father, while Archambault's "Gabrielle" centres on a young woman with Williams syndrome struggling to gain her independence.
Also at the festival:
- "Siddharth," directed by Richie Mehta, about an Indian man who sends his 12-year-old son away to work but later fears he may have been taken by traffickers,
- "Gerontophilia," directed by Bruce LaBruce, a romantic comedy about an 18-year-old who discovers he has an unusual attraction to the elderly,
- "Triptych," from Robert Lepage and Pedro Pires, about a schizophrenic bookseller, a singer and actress, and a German neurologist,
- "Sarah Prefers To Run," directed by Chloe Robichaud, about a gifted runner who marries a friend in order to be eligible for lucrative university scholarships and loans,
- "The Animal Project," directed by Ingrid Veninger, about an acting teacher who tries to push a group of young performers out of their comfort zones.
Meanwhile, the shorts section includes an eight-minute film from Cassandra Cronenberg, daughter of directing giant David Cronenberg. Her experimental film "Candy" is billed as "a convention-busting portrait of human transactions" including love, sex, money and art.
The Toronto International Film Festival runs Sept. 5 to 15.