CanCon at TIFF: Atom Egoyan’s latest and Heath Ledger’s final film among newly announced titles

CanCon at TIFF: Atom Egoyan’s latest and Heath Ledger’s final film among newly announced titles

Even though it’s just a press conference, the announcement of TIFF’s Canadian lineup is considered to be the unofficial pre-gala kickoff for locals. Homegrown filmmakers, actors and distributors packed into the Royal York’s Imperial Room yesterday to pose for the camera and decimate the open bar and buffet table in a manner befitting this country’s underfunded film industry. Since a British film—Creationwas chosen for opening night, a Canadian project was widely expected to close the festival. Organizers didn’t disappoint. The honour went to The Young Victoria, a look at titular queen’s early years on the throne directed by C.R.A.Z.Y. filmmaker Jean-Marc Vallée. Other notable announcements included:

Atom Egoyan’s Chloe, about a wife (Julianne Moore) who hires a PYT (Amanda Seyfried) to catch her husband (Liam Neeson) in the act of cheating;
Reginald Harkema’s follow-up to Monkey WarfareLeslie, My Name Is Evilwill have its world premiere;
Terry Gilliam’s The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, the tale of a travelling theatre show staring Johnny Depp, Jude Law and Heath Ledger in his last role. A Canada-U.K. co-production, this one just squeaked into the CanCon category.

Class of 2009: Cameron Bailey and Piers Handling surrounded by Canadian filmmakers at the Royal York Hotel (Photo by Karon Liu)  

The fest is ramping up its unofficial “we love Toronto” theme by screening Mary Pickford’s Sparrows to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Hogtown-born actor’s film debut. Plus, an anthology of the city’s film industry will be published before the fest and thankfully will not be titled Toronto the Good (it’s simply called Toronto on Film). And, as usual, the Canada First! program will be focussing on Canuck directors making their debut. This year, the series will open with Sook-Yin Lee’s Year of the Carnivore that’s inspired by Lee’s life growing up in Vancouver’s suburbs.

Galas

Film: The Young Victoria (North American premiere)
Director:
Jean-Marc Vallée
Actors:
Emily Blunt, Rupert Friend, Paul Bettany

Film: Chloe (World premiere)
Director:
Atom Egoyan
Actors:
Julianne Moore, Liam Neeson, Amanda Seyfried

Film: Coking with Stella (World premiere)
Director:
Dilip Mehta
Actors:
Lisa Ray, Don McKellar, Seema Biswas

Film: The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus (North American premiere)
Director:
Terry Gillam
Actors:
Johnny Depp, Heath Ledger, Jude Law, Colin Farrell, Tom Waits

Special Presentations

Film: Cairo Time (World premiere)
Director:
Rubba Nadda
Actors:
Patricia Clarkson, Tom McCamus

Film: Defendor (World premiere)
Director:
Peter Stebbings
Actors:
Woody Harrelson, Kat Dennings

Film: Hugh Hefner: Playboy, Activist and Rebel (World premiere)
Director:
Brigitte Berman

Film: J’ai Tué Ma Mère (World premiere)
Director:
Xavier Dolan
Actors:
Xavier Dolan, Anne Dorval

Film: The Trotsky (World premiere)
Director:
Jacob Tierney
Actors:
Jay Baruchel, Saul Rubinek