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:: Spotlight :: Nine Australian feature films to screen at Toronto

By: Carmine Pascuzzi

The Toronto International Film Festival recently launched its full programme, confirming that nine Australian feature films will screen at this premier North American festival, which runs from September 6-15, 2007.

Two films are having Special Presentation screenings; Death Defying Acts directed by Gillian Armstrong, starring Guy Pearce and Catherine Zeta-Jones, and Romulus, My Father, directed by Richard Roxburgh with lead actor Eric Bana in attendance.

Director Scott Hicks’ feature documentary about composer Philip Glass, Glass: a portrait of Philip in twelve parts will have its premiere in the Real to Reel section of the festival.

Screening in the Visions section of the festival is Night, the latest offering from writer/director Lawrence Johnston and Dr Plonk, the silent black and white comedy from writer/director Rolf de Heer.

The independent feature film Corroboree (co-writer/director Ben Hackworth) and the first film from the Tropfest Feature Program September (co-writer/director Peter Carstairs) are screening in the Discovery program.

Unfinished Sky (writer/director Peter Duncan) and The Home Song Stories (writer/director Tony Ayres) will both screen in the Contemporary World Cinema section.

"The number of Australian films selected in Toronto this year is significant as the festival offers a wonderful launching pad into the North American market,” said Chris Fitchett, Australian Film Commission (AFC) Chief Executive. “It is a testament to the talent of the filmmaking teams involved and the calibre of the films they are producing. The AFC is pleased to have assisted in the selection process by hosting festival co-director Noah Cowan's second visit to Sydney and Melbourne earlier this year to view potential films for selection.”

In a first for the festival, Toronto is taking a select number of their international films to New York and Los Angeles for advance press screenings. Two Australian films – Corroboree and Night - have been invited to participate this year.

To celebrate and highlight the Australian lineup at the festival, the AFC in conjunction with the Australian High Commission, Canada, is hosting a reception for invited industry guests during the festival. In addition, the AFC, as well as state agencies, are supporting selected filmmakers to travel to the festival.