Toronto Film Festival Announces 2009 Galas and Special Presentations


The first wave of major titles for this year’s Toronto International Film Festival were announced yesterday, and there were certainly more than enough high profile picks to get people talking. Ricky Gervais’s The Invention of Lying, Neil Jordan’s Ondine and Nicolas Winding Refn’s Valhalla Rising were among the world premieres unveiled for September, along with North American premieres of such films as Steven Soderbergh’s The Informant!, Bong Joon-ho’s Mother and Johnnie To’s Vengeance.

There was some controversy over the choice of Jon Amiel’s Darwin biopic Creation as the festival opener — not because of the subject matter, but rather because of the fact that this is the first time the fest will kick off with a non-Canadian film. It does seem like a bit of a strange choice, but how can you say no to Paul Bettany and Jennifer Connelly? Sundance hit Precious, Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire will also make an appearance at TIFF, and although it wasn’t announced, Jason Reitman’s Up in the Air is looking pretty likely to premiere there as well. Check out the full list of newly announced titles after the jump; for more info, read the full press release. Are you planning to attend TIFF this year?

Creation (Dir. Jon Amiel, UK)
World Premiere
Cast: Paul Bettany, Jennifer Connelly

Get Low (Dir. Aaron Schneider, USA)
World Premiere
Cast: Robert Duvall, Bill Murray, Sissy Spacek and Lucas Black

The Invention of Lying (Dir. Ricky Gervais and Matthew Robinson, USA)
World Premiere

Max Manus (Dir. Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg, Norway/Denmark/Germany)
North American Premiere

Precious: Based on the Novel “Push” by Sapphire (Dir. Lee Daniels, USA)
Canadian Premiere
Cast: Mo’Nique, Paula Patton, Mariah Carey, Sherri Shepherd, Lenny Kravitz and introduces Gabourey Sidibe.

The Boys Are Back (Dir. Scott Hicks, Australia/United Kingdom)
World Premiere
Cast: Clive Owen, Laura Fraser and Emma Booth.

Bright Star (Dir. Jane Campion, United Kingdom/Australia)
North American Premiere
Cast: Ben Whishaw, Abbie Cornish

City of Life and Death (Dir. Lu Chuan, China)
International Premiere
Cast: Liu Ye and Gao Yuanyuan.

Cracks (Dir. Jordan Scott, Ireland)
World Premiere
Cast: Eva Green

Hadewijch (Dir. Bruno Dumont, France)
World Premiere

The Informant! (Dir. Steven Soderbergh, USA)
North American Premiere
Cast: Matt Damon

Leaves of Grass (Dir. Tim Blake Nelson, USA)
World Premiere
Cast: Edward Norton

London River (Dir. Rachid Bouchareb, United Kingdom/France/Algeria)
North American Premiere

Mao’s Last Dancer (Dir. Bruce Beresford, Australia/USA/China)
World Premiere

Moloch Tropical (Dir. Raoul Peck, Haiti/France)
World Premiere

Mother (Dir. Bong Joon-ho, South Korea)
North American Premiere

Ondine (Dir. Neil Jordan, Ireland/USA)
World Premiere
Cast: Colin Farrell, Alicja Bachleda, Alison Barry

Partir (Dir. Catherine Corsini, France)
International Premiere
Cast: Kristin Scott Thomas, Sergi López

Scheherazade Tell Me a Story (Dir. Yousry Nasrallah, Egypt)
North American Premiere

Solitary Man (Dir. Brian Koppelman and David Levien, USA)
World Premiere
Cast: Michael Douglas, Susan Sarandon, Danny DeVito, Mary Louise Parker and Jenna Fischer.

Valhalla Rising (Dir. Nicolas Winding Refn, Denmark/United Kingdom)
World Premiere

Vengeance (Dir. Johnnie To, Hong Kong/France)
North American Premiere

The Vintner’s Luck (Dir. Niki Caro, New Zealand/France)
World Premiere

  • Jay Brennan

    According to this, one of the gala films will be premiere of The Invention of Lying, Ricky Gervais’ first film as a director. That’s exciting!

  • JC

    I so want to go to TTIF to see The Vintner’s Luck, but I doubt I’ll be able to get over there :(

  • Three amazing Australian films will premiere: thanks Toronto for supporting us!
    ‘The Boys Are Back’ and ‘Mao’s Last Dancer’ world premier and North American premier for “Bright Star” – what an amazing line-up – jsut wish I could attend.

  • Lacey

    Also read where Stephen Poliakoff’s “Glorious 39″ will be screening this year.

  • Connor G

    This is my first year going to TIFF, I’m so psyched, anyone have any suggestions of films to see? Ive got 10 total tickets to pick, and have found 6 so far that I definitely want to go to.

  • Ann

    I’d love to see Norton in “Leaves of Grass” and Ellen Page in “Whip It.”

    TIFF’s lineup is looking great this year.