Homegrown lineup

‘Alias Grace,’ film star­ring Evan Rachel Wood head­line Cana­dian slate

Cape Breton Post - - Arts/ Entertainment - BY VIC­TO­RIA AHEARN

The world pre­miere of Mary Harron’s TV minis­eries “Alias Grace’’ and films star­ring Evan Rachel Wood, Geena Davis and San­dra Oh are in the homegrown lineup for this year’s Toronto In­ter­na­tional Film Fes­ti­val.

The Cana­dian slate an­nounced Wed­nes­day in­cludes “Alias Grace,’’ which Sarah Pol­ley wrote and pro­duced based on Mar­garet At­wood’s novel. It’s set to pre­miere on the CBC this fall.

In the drama “A Wor­thy Com­pan­ion’’ by Car­los Sanchez and Jason Sanchez, Wood stars as a trou­bled woman who bonds with a teenage pi­anist, played by Cana­dian ac­tress Ju­lia Sarah Stone.

Stone starred in Bruce McDon­ald’s “Weirdos’’ at last year’s fest and was deemed one of the Ris­ing Stars in the 2014 in­stal­ment, when she starred in “Wet Bum.’’

Mean­while, Davis stars along­side Scott Thomp­son of “The Kids in the Hall’’ fame in the com­edy “Don’t Talk to Irene’’ by Pat Mills, about a teen who auditions for a dance-themed re­al­ity show with a group of se­nior cit­i­zens.

And Oh is in the dram­edy “Med­i­ta­tion Park’’ by Mina Shum, which also stars Liane Bal­a­ban and Don McKel­lar and is set in Van­cou­ver.

Other high­lights of the homegrown lineup in­clude “Eye on Juliet’’ by Kim Nguyen, whose pre­vi­ous fea­tures in­clude “Two Lovers and a Bear’’ and the Os­car-nom­i­nated “Re­belle.’’

“Eye on Juliet’’ stars Joe Cole Ac­tor Sarah Gadon is shown in a scene from “Alias Grace.” The world pre­miere of Mary Harron’s TV minis­eries “Alias Grace” and films star­ring Evan Rachel Wood, Geena Davis and San­dra Oh are in the homegrown lineup for this year’s Toronto In­ter­na­tional Film Fes­ti­val.

as a hexa­pod op­er­a­tor who is in the mid­dle of a bad breakup when he meets a young woman from the Mid­dle East, played by Lina El Arabi.

The film is “a take on mod­ern re­la­tion­ships in the 21st cen­tury,’’ Nguyen told The Cana­dian Press at last year’s fest.

Judy Greer and Russell Peters star in the com­edy “Pub­lic Schooled’’ by Kyle Ride­out, about a home-schooled teen who en­rols in pub­lic school.

Cel­e­brated In­dige­nous doc­u­men­tary maker Ala­nis Obom­sawin will be at the fest with “Our Peo­ple Will Be Healed,’’ about an in­no­va­tive school in a re­mote Cree com­mu­nity north of Win­nipeg.

Another note­wor­thy doc in the lineup is Sean Me­nard’s “The Carter Ef­fect,’’ about the im­pact NBA all-star Vince Carter made on Toronto.

Or­ga­niz­ers say this year’s Cana­dian ros­ter has one of the high­est num­bers of fea­ture di­rec­to­rial de­buts ever, at over 30 per cent.

Di­rec­tors mak­ing their fea­ture di­rec­to­rial de­but in­clude “Trailer Park Boys’’ star Cory Bowles with “Black Cop,’’ a satir­i­cal ex­plo­ration of po­lice-com­mu­nity re­la­tions.

“It is ex­cit­ing to see a new wave of Cana­dian first-time fea­ture di­rec­tors play with gen­res and take risks,’’ Steve Grave­stock, se­nior pro­gram­mer at TIFF, said in a state­ment.

“This year’s lineup has a truly in­ter­na­tional feel to it, too, with a num­ber of fea­tures shot all over the globe — some­thing that also speaks to the bold­ness of many of the film­mak­ers in­cluded in the slate.’’

The Toronto In­ter­na­tional Film Fes­ti­val kicks off Sept. 7

with the open­ing film “Borg/McEn­roe,’’ a ten­nis drama star­ring Shia LaBeouf.

A to­tal of 25 Cana­dian fea­ture films are in the lineup and all are el­i­gi­ble for the Canada Goose Award for Best Cana­dian Fea­ture Film.

Here are some other note­wor­thy ti­tles in the lineup:

• Alan Zweig’s “There is a

House Here’’

• Si­mon Lavoie’s “The Lit­tle

Girl Who Was Too Fond of Matches’’ (“La petite fille qui aimait trop les al­lumettes’’)

• In­grid Veninger’s “Por­cu­pine

Lake’’

• De­nis Cote’s “Ta peau si lisse’’ (“A Skin So Soft’’)

• “Mary Goes Round’’ by Molly McG­lynn

• Kath­leen Hep­burn’s “Never Steady, Never Still’’

• Wayne Wapeemukwa’s “Luk’Luk’I’’

CP PHOTO

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