Mike Fleming

PART I: Toronto 2012: High Optimism As Business Reshaped By Filmmaker-Driven Fare And Shifting Formats Reinvigorates Indie Biz

Hot acquisition titles as the Toronto Film Festival kicks off tonight:

Imogene Toronto 2012IMOGENE – Directors: Shari Springer Berman, Robert Pulcini. Cast: Kristen Wiig, Annette Benning, Matt Dillon. Seller: UTA/Voltage. A playwright stages a suicide in an attempt to win back her ex, only to wind up in the custody of her gambling-addict mother. 1st Screening: Friday, September 7, 3 PM (Ryerson)

THE PLACE BEYOND THE PINES – Director: Derek Cianfrance. Cast: Ryan Gosling, Bradley Cooper, Eva Mendes, Ray Liotta, Rose Byrne. Seller:CAA/WME/Sierra-Affinity. A motorcycle stunt rider considers committing a crime to provide for his wife and child, which puts him up against a cop-turned-politician. 1st Screening: Friday, September 7, 6 PM (Princess of Wales)

GINGER AND ROSA – Director-writer: Sally Potter. Cast: Annette Benning, Elle Fanning, Christina Hendricks, Timothy Spall, Oliver Platt. Seller: Cinetic/Match Factory. Set in the 1960′s, two teenage girls born on the day of the Hiroshima bomb become involved in the Ban the Bomb movement and the sexual revolution. 1st Screening: Friday, September 7, 9 PM (Elgin)

Francis Ha Toronto 2012FRANCES HA – Director: Noah Baumbach. Cast: Greta Gerwig, Mickey Sumner. Seller: UTA. An aspiring dancer moves to New York and is caught up amid fair-weather friends, diminishing fortunes and career setbacks. 1st Screening: Friday, September 7, 9:30 PM (Ryerson)

WHAT MAISIE KNEW – Directors: Scott McGehee, David Siegel. Cast: Alexander Skarsgård, Julianne Moore, Steve Coogan. Seller: WME/Fortissimo. A 7-year-old is caught in the middle of a custody battle between her mother, an aging rock star, and her father, a major art dealer. 1st Screening: Friday, September 7, 9:30 PM (Roy Thomson Hall)

STORIES WE TELL – Director-writer: Sarah Polley. Seller: National Film Board of Canada. Polley’s first documentary is an exploration of a family’s secrets, and the narratives each member creates to explain their past. 1st Screening: Friday, September 7, 9:45 AM (Scotiabank 1)

MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING — Director-writer: Joss Whedon. Cast: Clark Gregg, Amy Acker, Nathan Fillion. Seller: CAA. A modern retelling of Shakespeare’s comedy about two pairs of lovers with different takes on romance. 1st Screening: Saturday, September 8, 2:30 PM (Elgin)

LOVE, MARILYN – Director: Liz Garbus. Cast: Uma Thurman, Paul Giamatti, Adrien Brody, Viola Davis. Seller: StudioCanal. Adapted from a bestselling book, the documentary reveals an intimate and secret side of the iconic movie star. 1st Screening: Saturday, September 8, 6:45 PM (Scotiabank 4)

THANKS FOR SHARING – Director-writer: Stuart Blumberg. Cast: Mark Ruffalo, Tim Robbins, Josh Gad, Gwyneth Paltrow. Seller: UTA/WME/Voltage. Three recovering sex addicts struggle to maintain meaningful relationships among lingering temptations. 1st Screening: Saturday, September 8, 9 PM (Ryerson)

THE RELUCTANT FUNDAMENTALIST – Director: Mira Nair. Cast: Kate Hudson, Live Schrieber, Keifer Sutherland, Riz Ahmed. Seller: Cinetic for North America/K5 for international. A young Pakistani man chasing corporate success on Wall Street finds himself embroiled in a conflict between his American Dream, a hostage crisis, and the call of his homeland. Financed by the Doha Film Institute. 1st Screening: Saturday, September 8, 9:30 PM (Roy Thomson Hall)

YELLOW – Director/co-writer: Nick Cassavetes. Cast: Sienna Miller, Ray Liotta, David Morse, Riley Keough, Melanie Griffith. Seller: ICM. A substitute teacher escapes from her everyday life by fantasizing about bizarre parallel realities. 1st Screening: Saturday, September 8, 9:30 PM (AMC 7)

GREETINGS FROM TIM BUCKLEY – Director/co-writer: Dan Algrant. Cast: Imogen Poots, Kate Nash, Penn Badgley, Bill Sadler. Seller: CAA/Celluloid Dreams. The true story of the days leading up to Jeff Buckley’s eminent 1991 performance that launched his career — at his father’s tribute concert in St. Ann’s Church. 1st Screening: Sunday, September 9, 9 AM (Scotiabank 4)

PASSION – Director/co-writer: Brian De Palma. Cast: Rachel McAdams, Noomi Rapace. Seller: Wild Bunch/SBS. An erotic thriller centers on a power struggle between two women in the cut-throat world of international business. 1st Screening: Sunday, September 9th, 2 PM (Scotiabank 4)

MISTER PIP – Director-writer: Andrew Adamson. Cast: Hugh Laurie, Kerry Fox, Eka Darville. Seller: UTA/Focus International. A young girl becomes transfixed by the Charles Dickens novel Great Expectations, which is being read at school by the only white man in the village. 1st Screening: Sunday, September 9, 3:30 PM (Winter Garden Theater)

BYZANTIUM – Director: Neil Jordan. Cast: Gemma Arterton, Caleb Landry Jones, Daniel Mays, Jonny Lee Miller, Sam Riley, Saoirse Ronan. Seller: CAA/WME/WestEnd. An action-filled vampire story about two women, on the run from their past, hiding a terrible secret. 1st Screening: Sunday, September 9, 9 PM (Ryerson)

THE LORDS OF SALEM – Director-writer: Rob Zombie. Cast: Bruce Dern, Sheri Moon Zombie, Dee Wallace. Seller: IM Global. A Salem radio DJ plays a heavy metal song and awakens a coven of witches from the 17th century. 1st Screening: Monday, September 10, 11:59 PM (Ryerson, world premiere)

ARTHUR NEWMAN – Director: Dante Ariola. Cast: Colin Firth, Emily Blunt, Anne Heche. Seller: UTA/CAA/Focus International. After faking his death and adopting a new identity, a depressed divorcee meets a troubled young woman who spurs him on to new heights during a cross-country spree of life-swapping and bed-hopping. 1st Screening: Monday, September 10, 2:30 PM (Elgin)

TO THE WONDER – Director-writer: Terrence Malick. Cast: Ben Affleck, Javier Bardem, Rachel McAdams, Olga Kurlyenko, Barry Pepper, Rachel Weisz. Seller: CAA/FilmNation. A romantic drama centered on a man who reconnects with a woman from his hometown after his marriage falls apart. 1st Screening: Monday, September 10, 7 PM (Princess of Wales)

EMPEROR – Director: Peter Webber. Cast: Tommy Lee Jones, Matthew Fox. Seller: CAA/Sierra-Affinity. In the aftermath of Japanese Emperor Hirohito’s surrender to the U.S., Gen. Douglas MacArthur and his adjutant Gen. Bonner Fellers are faced with a decision of historic importance. 1st Screening: Friday, September 14, 6:30 PM (Roy Thomson Hall)