New Delhi, Jun 23 (PTI) Anton Fuqua's crime thriller 'The Guilty', Celine Sciamma's French drama feature 'Petite Maman', Edgar Wright's twisty horror film 'Last Night in Soho' and 'Belfast', a coming-of-age drama directed by Kenneth Branagh are among the 12 new titles that will be screened in the official selection line-up at the upcoming Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), the organisers announced Wednesday.
The 46th edition of the prestigious movie gala, to be held from September 9 to September 18, will also return to in-person screenings at some of its most iconic venues, including TIFF's signature Bell Lightbox theater, Roy Thomson Hall and Princess of Wales Theatre.
Last year, in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, the TIFF was organised in a hybrid format of in-person and drive-in screenings combined, for the first time in its history, with an online platform for the press and industry worldwide.
Other films in the 2021 official selection slate are: 'Le Bal des Folles' by Melanie Laurent, 'Benediction' by Terence Davies, 'Charlotte' by Eric Warin and Tahir Rana, 'Dionne Warwick: Don't Make Me Over' by Dave Wooley and David Heilbroner, 'Lakewood' by Philip Noyce, 'Night Raiders' by Danis Goulet, and 'The Starling' by Theodore Melfi.
'Jagged', the documentary on iconic Canadian singer-songwriter Alanis Morissette, is also part of this line-up. It is directed by Alison Klayman.
The festival will also showcase Denis Villeneuve's much-anticipated sci-fi drama 'Dune' as a World Exclusive IMAX Special Event at the Cinesphere Theatre at Ontario Place.
The film, based on Frank Herbert's seminal novel and featuring an impressive all-star ensemble cast, will be showcased in Toronto and Montreal, in partnership with Warner Bros.
Joana Vicente, TIFF Executive Director and Co-Head, said they are proud of the calibre of the films and the diversity of the stories that will be presented at the gala this year.
'It is so powerful to be able to share these films with Festival-goers in theatres. And while the world is definitely moving towards a degree of normalcy, many of our industry and press colleagues may not be able to travel across international borders. In response, we have brought back the TIFF Digital Cinema Pro platform that will host Press & Industry screenings, the Industry Conference, press conferences, as well as the TIFF Industry Selects market,' Vicente said in a statement.
'We believe that digital access is an important part of providing accessibility to audiences and will be vital to the future of film festivals. This inclusivity across all our offerings helps to ensure that, no matter where you are located, you can participate in the Festival,' she added.
Cameron Bailey, TIFF Artistic Director and Co-Head, said the team is 'glad to be back' after a tough year amid the pandemic.
'We're thrilled to be presenting the latest by Alison Klayman, Edgar Wright, Philip Noyce, Kenneth Branagh and many more to audiences in our Toronto cinemas, and to Canadians all across the country at home. We can't wait for September.
'We're also honoured to introduce the world to outstanding Canadian debuts such as Eric Warin and Tahir Rana's 'Charlotte' and Danis Goulet's 'Night Raiders'. We've been inspired by the quality, range, and diversity of the films we're inviting, and we couldn't wait to give everyone an early glimpse,' Bailey said.
Dr Peter Nord, TIFF's consultative partner on health and safety for the pandemic, said the festival is 'confident' about returning to its in-person screenings as part of the festival as both the province and country accelerate vaccination rollout.
'Canada's first-dose immunization rate has surpassed the US, and recently reached the best rates in the world. As of today in Toronto, more than 75% of adults have received their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and 25% have received their second dose.
'We fully anticipate that by the time the Festival arrives, all Ontarians will have the opportunity to be fully vaccinated. Public health indicators, such as hospitalizations, ICU occupancy, and case rates indicate that we're on the right -- and safe -- path to fully reopening,' Nord said.
In addition, audiences will confidently be able to enjoy in-cinema screenings by maintaining a safe physical distance and wearing a mask, added the Chief Medical Officer of Medcan.
The festival said more than 100 films will screen in its official selection. The rest of those titles will be announced in the coming weeks. PTI RDS RDS