TIFF13: Sobol, McKellar, Chechik films to get gala treatment


Canadian directors Jonathan Sobol, Don McKellar and Jeremiah Chechik will screen their films as gala presentations at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival, announced Tuesday by TIFF CEO and director Piers Handling and artistic director Cameron Bailey.

Sobol, in a follow up to his 2010 directorial debut The Beginner’s Guide to Endings, is the writer and director of The Art of the Steal.

The film, with a cast that includes Jay Baruchel, Katheryn Winnick, Kurt Russell, Matt Dillon and Terence Stamp, is about a third-rate motorcycle daredevil and part-time art thief who plot to steal one of the most valuable books in the world.

Also getting the red carpet treatment is Don McKellar’s The Grand Seduction, a remake of 2003 Quebec comedy La Grande Seduction. Veteran actor-director McKellar took over on the reported $10 million project from director Ken Scott, who was tapped for the remake of Scott’s own 2010 film Starbuck.

Jeremiah Chechik’s The Right Kind of Wrong will also host its world premiere as a TIFF gala presentation. Ryan Kwanten, Will Sasso, Catherine O’Hara and Sara Canning topline the film about a dishwasher who falls in love with a bride on the day of her wedding to another man.

And Atom Egoyan, Jean-Marc Vallée and Jason Reitman will screen their films in TIFF’s special presentations program, along with films from Denis Villeneuve and Paul Haggis.

Egoyan’s Devil’s Knot, based on the book by Mara Leveritt about the West Memphis Three case, Vallée’s Dallas Buyers Club and Reitman’s Labor Day, will receive their world bows at the festival.

Toplined by Reese Witherspoon, Colin Firth, Stephen Moyer and Mireille Enos, Devil’s Knot follows the trial of the young men accused of killing three young children as part of a satanic ritual.

Dallas Buyers Club, with Matthew McConaughey, Jennifer Garner and Jared Leto, is the story of Texas electrician Ron Woodroof and his battle with medical and pharmaceutical companies after being diagnosed as HIV-positive in 1986.

And Labor Day, starring Kate Winslet, Tobey Maguire and Josh Brolin, follows the story of a depressed single mom and her son who offer a ride to a man, against their better judgment. Their options become limited as the town searches for the escaped convict. The film is slated for a limited release in the U.S. on Dec. 25.

Incendies director Denis Villeneuve directs Hugh Jackman, Terrence Howard, Viola Davis, Jake Gyllenhaal and Maria Bello in Prisoners, slated for a U.S. release on Sept. 20. In Prisoners, a working class Boston father sets out to track down the man he thinks is responsible for kidnapping his daughter and her friend.

And Paul Haggis is the writer and director of Third Person, which features three interlocking love stories in three cities. Third Person stars an ensemble cast including James Franco, Maria Bello, Olivia Wilde and Liam Neeson.

Opening and closing galas

Handling and Bailey announced that this year’s festival will open with Bill Condon’s The Fifth Estate, the story of Wikileaks architect Julian Assange, following the early days of the website to its abrupt end.

“[The film] raises pressing questions about responsibility and power that goes hand-in-hand with the flow of information,” Handling said, describing the film to the Tuesday morning press conference, before introducing a preview.

The Fifth Estate stars Benedict Cumberbatch as Assange, with Daniel Bruhl as his colleage Daniel Domscheit-Berg.

Condon premiered his first feature, Sister, Sister, at TIFF in 1987, and in 2004 screened Kinsey in Toronto.

And the 38th Toronto International Film Festival will close with Daniel Schecter’s Life of Crime. Based on the Elmore Leonard novel The Switch, the film follows two common criminals in 1970s Detroit, who kidnap the wife of a corrupt real estate developer and hold her for ransom. Life of Crime stars John Hawkes, Yasiin Bey (Mos Def) and Jennifer Aniston.

Galas and special presentations

On the international front, John Krokidas’ Kill Your Darlings, India-France-Germany film The Lunchbox from Ritesh Batra, Korean thriller Cold Eyes from Cho Ui-seok and Kim Byung-seo, Justin Chadwick’s Mandela, Ron Howard’s UK-Germany copro Rush and Mike Myers’ directorial debut Supermensch are also amongst the films set to bow at the festival with gala screenings.

And Jason Bateman’s Bad Words, Burning Bush from director Agnieszka Holland (In Darkness), Richard Ayoud’s The Double, Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s Don Jon, Caroline Link’s Exit Marrakech, Ralph Fiennes’ The Invisible Woman, Kiyoshi Kirosawa’s Real and Jonathan Glazer’s Under the Skin are amongst the films screening in the special presentations program.

The full list of announced galas and special presentations is as follows:


  • The Art of the Steal Jonathan Sobol, Canada World Premiere
  • August: Osage County John Wells, USA World Premiere
  • Cold Eyes CHO Ui-seok and KIM Byung-seo, Korea North American Premiere
  • The Fifth Estate Bill Condon, USA World Premiere
  • The Grand Seduction Don McKellar, Canada World Premiere
  • Kill Your Darlings John Krokidas, USA International Premiere
  • Life of Crime Daniel Schecter, USA World Premiere
  • The Love Punch Joel Hopkins, France World Premiere
  • The Lunchbox Ritesh Batra, India/France/Germany North American Premiere
  • Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom Justin Chadwick, South Africa World Premiere
  • The Railway Man Jonathan Teplitzky, Australia/United Kingdom World Premiere
  • The Right Kind of Wrong Jeremiah Chechik, Canada World Premiere
  • Rush Ron Howard, United Kingdom/Germany North American Premiere
  • Shuddh Desi Romance Maneesh Sharma, India Canadian Premiere
  • Supermensch: The Legend of Shep Gordon Mike Myers, USA World Premiere

 Special Presentations

  • 12 Years a Slave Steve McQueen, USA World Premiere
  • All Is By My Side John Ridley, United Kingdom World Premiere
  • Attila Marcel Sylvain Chomet, France World Premiere
  • Bad Words Jason Bateman, USA World Premiere
  • Belle Amma Asante, United Kingdom World Premiere
  • Blue Is The Warmest Color - Adèle: Chapters 1 & 2 (La vie d’Adèle) Abdellatif Kechiche, France North American Premiere
  • Burning Bush Agnieszka Holland, Czech Republic North American Premiere
  • Can a Song Save Your Life? John Carney, USA World Premiere
  • Cannibal (Caníbal) Manuel Martín Cuenca, Spain/Romania/Russia/France World Premiere
  • Dallas Buyers Club Jean-Marc Vallée, USA World Premiere
  • Devil’s Knot Atom Egoyan, USA World Premiere
  • The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Him and Her Ned Benson, USA Work in Progress
  • Dom Hemingway Richard Shepard, United Kingdom World Premiere
  • Don Jon Joseph Gordon-Levitt, USA Canadian Premiere
  • The Double Richard Ayoade, United Kingdom World Premiere
  • Enough Said Nicole Holofcener, USA World Premiere
  • Exit Marrakech Caroline Link, Germany International Premiere
  • Felony Matthew Saville, Australia World Premiere
  • For Those Who Can Tell No Tales Jasmila Žbanić, Bosnia and Herzegovina World Premiere
  • Gloria Sebastián Lelio, Chile/Spain North American Premiere
  • Going Away (Il est parti dimanche) Nicole Garcia, France World Premiere
  • Gravity Alfonso Cuarón, USA/United Kingdom North American Premiere
  • The Great Beauty (La Grande Bellezza) Paolo Sorrentino, Italy North American Premiere
  • Half of a Yellow Sun Biyi Bandele Nigeria/United Kingdom World Premiere
  • Hateship Loveship Liza Johnson, USA World Premiere
  • L’intrepido Gianni Amelio, Italy North American Premiere
  • Ida Pawel Pawlikowski, Poland World Premiere
  • The Invisible Woman Ralph Fiennes, United Kingdom World Premiere
  • Joe David Gordon Green, USA North American Premiere
  • Labor Day Jason Reitman, USA World Premiere
  • Like Father, Like Son Hirokazu Kore-Eda, Japan North American Premiere
  • Man of Tai Chi Keanu Reeves, USA/China North American Premiere
  • Mary, Queen of Scots Thomas Imbach, France/Switzerland North American Premiere
  • Mystery Road Ivan Sen Australia International Premiere
  • Night Moves Kelly Reichardt, USA North American Premiere
  • Omar Hany Abu-Assad, Palestine North American Premiere
  • One Chance David Frankel, USA World Premiere
  • Only Lovers Left Alive Jim Jarmusch, USA North American Premiere
  • The Past (Le Passé) Asghar Farhadi, France/Italy North American Premiere
  • Philomena Stephen Frears, United Kingdom North American Premiere
  • Pioneer Erik Skjoldbjærg, Norway International Premiere
  • Prisoners Denis Villeneuve, USA world Premiere
  • Quai d’Orsay Bertrand Tavernier, France World Premiere
  • REAL (リアル~完全なる首長竜の日~) Kiyoshi Kurosawa, Japan North American Premiere
  • Starred Up David Mackenzie United Kingdom World Premiere
  • Third Person Paul Haggis, Belgium World Premiere
  • Those Happy Years (Anni Felici) Daniele Luchetti Italy World Premiere
  • Tracks John Curran, United Kingdom/Australia North American Premiere
  • Under the Skin Jonathan Glazer, USA/United Kingdom North American Premiere
  • Violette Martin Provost, France/Belgium World Premiere
  • Visitors Godfrey Reggio, USA World Premiere
  • Walesa. Man of Hope. (Walesa. Czlowiek z nadziei.) Andrzej Wajda, Poland North American Premiere
  • We are the Best! Lukas Moodysson, Sweden North American Premiere
  • Le Week-End Roger Michell, United Kingdom World Premiere
  • You Are Here Matthew Weiner, USA World Premiere
  • Young and Beautiful (Jeune & jolie) François Ozon, France/Belgium North American Premiere