TIFF12: Masters, Discovery and Mavericks unveiled

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The Toronto International Film Festival on Tuesday made its final announcements for its 2012 film lineup, including the Masters, Discovery and Mavericks programs.

The festival also unveiled some numbers for this year’s event, including a rise in the number of films overall and world premieres, as compared to last year’s festival.

TIFF’12 will screen 372 films, up from 337 last year; 146 films are world premieres, up from 122 last year; 75 films in the festival are first features, up from 65 last year, the organization said.

And the fest will screen 32 Canadian features, including co-productions, 20 of which are making their world premieres at the festival.

In all, TIFF’12 will screen films from 72 countries this year, with the gala program representing 12 countries.

“The diversity of the festival seems to be the story for us this year,” TIFF artistic director Cameron Bailey told media in a conference call Tuesday morning. Bailey credited the diverse lineup to the fact that it has programming teams based all around the world, which have autonomy to make their own selections.

Bailey and TIFF director and CEO Piers Handling also discussed some overarching themes in this year’s film lineup.

While they said that illegal immigration was the hot-button issue last year, particularly for European filmmakers, this year’s films delve deep into aging (such as Michael Haneke’s Amour, Robert Redford’s The Company You Keep, Patrice Leconte’s Suicide Shop and Yaron Zilberman’s A Late Quartet) and change in the Middle East and a look back at important political events (such as Ruba Nadda’s Inescapable, Ben Affleck’s Argo and Mira Nair’s The Reluctant Fundamentalist).

Masters

The Masters program will present 14 films from international filmmakers including the world premieres of new films by Gorn Paskaljevic and Bernard Emond.

  • Amour Michael Haneke, Austria/France/Germany, North American Premiere
  •  Beyond the Hills (Dupa Dealuri) Cristian Mungiu, Romania/France, North American Premiere
  •  Everyday Michael Winterbottom, United Kingdom, World Premiere
  •  Gebo and the Shadow (Gebo et l’ombre) Manoel de Oliveira, Portugal/France, North American Premiere
  •  In Another Country (Da-Reun Na-ra-e-suh) Hong Sang-soo, South Korea, North American Premiere
  •  Like Someone in Love Abbas Kiarostami, Japan/France, North American Premiere
  •  Me and You Bernardo Bertolucci, Italy, North American Premiere
  • Night Across the Street (La Noche de Enfrente) Raúl Ruiz, France/Chile, North American Premiere
  • Pieta Kim Ki-duk, South Korea, North American Premiere
  • Something in the Air (Après mai) Olivier Assayas, France, North American Premiere
  • Student Darezhan Omirbayev, Kazakhstan, North American Premiere
  • When Day Breaks Goran Paskaljevic, Serbia/Croatia/France, World Premiere

Previously announced Masters films include: Bernard Émond’s Tout Ce Que Tu Possèdes (All That You Possess) and Peter Mettler’s The End of Time.

Discovery

Handling said in the conference call that 25% of Discovery films this year are first features, and 25% of the films are also directed by women.

“We were very comprehensive in terms of going out and searching for very strong work from female filmmakers,” he said.

Discovery films are eligible for the Grolsch Film Works Discovery Award, a $10,000 cash prize to support the winner’s next project, and the juried International Federation of Film Critics Award.

The full lineup is as follows:

  • 7 Boxes Juan Carlos Maneglia, Tana Schémbori, Paraguay, International Premiere
  •  Augustine Alice Winocour, France, International Premiere
  •  Blancanieves Pablo Berger, Spain/France, World Premiere
  •  Boy Eating the Bird’s Food Ektoras Lygizos, Greece, North American Premiere
  •  The Brass Teapot Ramaa Mosley, USA, World Premiere
  • Burn It Up Djassa Lonesome Solo, Ivory Coast/Franc,e World Premiere
  • Call Girl Mikael Marcimain, Sweden/Ireland/Norway/Finland, World Premiere
  • Clip Maja Milos, Serbia, North American Premiere
  • The Color of the Chameleon Emil Christov, Bulgaria, World Premiere
  • The Deflowering of Eva van End Michiel ten Horn, The Netherlands, World Premiere
  • Detroit Unleaded Rola Nashef, USA, World Premiere
  • Eat Sleep Die Gabriela Pichler, Sweden, North American Premiere
  • Fill the Void Rama Burshtein, Israel, North American Premiere
  • The Interval Leonardo Di Costanzo, Italy, North American Premiere
  • Janeane from Des Moines Grace Lee, USA, World Premiere
  • La Sirga William Vega, Colombia/France/Mexico, North American Premiere
  • The Land of Eb Andrew Williamson, USA, World Premiere
  • Nights with Theodore Sébastien Betbeder, France, World Premiere
  • Mushrooming Toomas Hussar, Estonia, North American Premiere
  • Our Little Differences Sylvie Michel, Germany, International Premiere
  • Out in the Dark Michael Mayer, Israel/USA, North American Premiere
  • Satellite Boy Catriona McKenzie, Australia, World Premiere
  • Wasteland Rowan Athale, United Kingdom, World Premiere

Canadian films previously announced in the Discovery programme include: Jason Buxton’s Blackbird, Igor Drljaca’s Krivina, Kate Melville’s Picture Day and Kazik Radwanski’s Tower.

The festival also added, as part of the TIFF Kids program, Nono, The Zigzag Kid from Vincent Ba (Belgium/The Netherlands, World Premiere).

Mavericks

This year’s Mavericks program will invite festival attendees into discussions with filmmakers like Amy Berg, Tom Donahue and Sophie Fiennes, actors Javier Bardem, Jackie Chan and Johnny Depp, producers Damien Echols and Lorri Davis and media mogul David Geffen.

The full lineup, as taken from the TIFF press materials, is as follows:

American Masters Inventing David Geffen: Notoriously press and camera-shy, David Geffen reveals himself for the first time in this unflinching portrait of a complex and compelling man. His far-reaching influence — as agent, manager, record industry mogul, Hollywood and Broadway producer, billionaire and philanthropist — has helped shape American popular culture for the past four decades. Following the world premiere screening of this new film, Geffen and filmmaker, American Masters creator and executive producer Susan Lacy hit the stage for a live conversation with Thom Powers.

  • Casting By: Director Tom Donahue’s new documentary showcases filmmaking’s unsung hero — the casting director — taking audiences on a fast-paced journey through the last half century of Hollywood history from an entirely new perspective. Paying tribute to the legacy of the legendary casting director Marion Dougherty, Donahue shines a light on one of the most overlooked and least understood crafts in filmmaking. An iconoclast pioneer in her field, Dougherty helped usher in the New Hollywood with movies like Midnight Cowboy and Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. The film features interviews with top stars and filmmakers such as Martin Scorsese, Woody Allen, Clint Eastwood, Glenn Close and Robert Duvall. This world premiere screening culminates with a live onstage discussion with Donahue, actor Danny Glover, and casting director Ellen Lewis (Hugo, Hyde Park on Hudson). Moderated by Thom Powers.
  • Graydon Sheppard and Kyle Humphrey (Shit Girls Say): In this intimate and inevitably irreverent conversation, every topic is on the table as Sheppard and Humphrey discuss their sudden entry into pop culture history and present a brand-new episode of SGS (a world premiere — also screening separately as part of Short Cuts Canada).
  • In Conversation With… Jackie Chan: Actor, director, writer, producer, comedian, stuntman, action choreographer and martial artist Jackie Chan continues to do it all. His tireless work in more than 100 films over four decades has made him a global icon. There may be no corner of this planet where his face — and fists — are unknown. In this exclusive Mavericks Conversation, Chan will discuss the full range of his career. In a Festival exclusive, he will also offer a sneak preview glimpse of his upcoming film, Chinese Zodiac. Moderated by Cameron Bailey.
  • Sons of the Clouds: The Last Colony: Produced by and starring Academy Award-winning actor Javier Bardem, Álvaro Longoria’s documentary Sons of the Clouds: The Last Colony examines the current political turmoil in Northern Africa, and the role of the Western world’s realpolitik foreign policies. The film follows Bardem’s personal journey through the path of world diplomacy and the devastating reality of an abandoned people. Following the screening, Bardem joins Longoria onstage to discuss how he discovered this catastrophic human rights issue, and his determination to bring the cause of the Saharan refugees to the attention of the UN Assembly.
  • The Pervert’s Guide to Ideology: Depending on one’s view, the philosopher and academic superstar Slavoj Žižek is a genius, madman, contrarian, clown, sensationalist, radical leftist, scourge of liberals, or all the above. What he never fails to be is wildly entertaining and provocative. Director Sophie Fiennes reunites with the very funny provocateur Žižek for the sequel to their collaboration The Pervert’s Guide to Cinema. Žižek examines film clips, both famous and obscure, for their overt and hidden ideological implications, tracing their connections to current times, while Fiennes does a masterful job editing Žižek’s commentary into film scenes and placing him into clever recreations of famous film sets. Fiennes and Žižek (making his first visit to the festival) will engage in an onstage discussion following this world premiere screening.
  • West of Memphis: From Academy Award-nominated director Amy Berg, in collaboration with first-time producers Damien Echols and Lorri Davis along with acclaimed Academy Award-winning filmmakers Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh, comes West of Memphis — a powerful examination of a catastrophic failure of justice in Arkansas. This infamous case of three teenagers — known as the West Memphis Three — who were imprisoned for a heinous crime despite overwhelming evidence of their innocence, has galvanized grassroots supporters and high-profile advocates such as Johnny Depp, Eddie Vedder, Peter Jackson, Fran Walsh and musician Natalie Maines. A pre-taped video introduction by Jackson precedes the screening, which is followed by a live discussion about the case and the movement it inspired with Berg, Echols, Davis, Maines and Depp. Moderated by Thom Powers.

Who’s coming?

The festival also revealed its star-studded guest list Tuesday morning, with a slew of international filmmakers, producers, industry professionals, actors and actresses.

The full list is available through the TIFF website, but here’s a tease:

Ben Affleck, Alan Arkin, Edward Burns, Nick Cassavetes, Laurent Cantet, Mike Clattenburg, Marion Cotillard, Bryan Cranston, Brandon Cronenberg, Lee Daniels, Robert De Niro, Xavier Dolan, Zac Efron, Bernard Emond, Colin Firth, James Franco, Victor Garber, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Ryan Gosling, Jake Gyllenhaal, Dustin Hoffman, Rian Johnson, Catherine Keener, Anna Kendrick, Tommy Lee Jones,  Snoop Lion, William H. Macy, Micahel McGowan, Deepa Mehta, Viggo Moretenson, Rafael Ouellet, Peaches, Robert Redford, Salman Rushdie, Winona Ryder, Susan Sarandon, Graydon Sheppard, Kiefer Sutherland, Andy and Lana Wachowski and Emma Watson.

With files from Jordan Twiss

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