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Toronto starts guessing games

The announcement of the first batch of titles for this year’s Toronto International Film festival (TIFF) offers clues about what films might be selected for Venice and Telluride, and which titles US studios hope to push towards Academy and other awards early next year. Toronto is often used to launch titles which will have their US release late in the year to position them fresh in the minds of awards voters.

While it’s a briefly entertaining game to play, it’s of only academic interest for most in this part of the world.

The batch of titles announced today are the opening and closing films, plus 66 other “galas and special presentations”. No NZ titles are announced as yet, but it’s early days. Jeff Nichol’s Loving, featuring expat Marton Csokas and Aussie actor Joel Edgerton, is among the early announcements.

One Australian title is announced: based-on-a-true-storyLion from Garth Davis, who directed episodes of Jane Campion’s Top of the Lake. Big Screen Symposium speaker David Wenham is among the film’s leads.

Another former BSS presenter, Park Chan-wook, has his Cannes-premiered The Handmaiden (Agassi) selected. The film is currently appearing in the NZIFF, and features Moon Si-ro among its lead cast. Earlier this week, Moon (pictured below, right) became the first Korean actress to be named a jury member for the Venice Biennale.

Agassi

Agassi

Three Korean titles are named for TIFF, and Korean actor Lee Byung-hun is among the leads of the festival’s opening title, Antoine Fuqua’s remake of The Magnificent Seven (pictured, top).

TIFF has also announced world premieres including Oliver Stone’s Snowden; Their Finest from Lone Scherfig (An Education); The Oath fom Everest filmmaker Baltasar Kormákur; and Feng Xiaogang comedy I Am Not Madame Bovary, led by Fan Bingbing (pictured, below).

Fan Bingbing in I AM Not Madame Bovary

Fan Bingbing in I Am Not Madame Bovary

The full list of titles announced today is here.

The 41st Toronto International Film Festival runs 8 – 18 September.

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