‘Last Night’ to Close Toronto Filmfest

Fest also announces Istanbul for “City to City” program

“Last Night” will serve as the closing-night film at the 35th Toronto Film Festival, which announced special presentations, late-night genre films and galas on Tuesday.

TIFF also announced that Istanbul will serve as the next entry in the “City to City” program, with 10 features and 17 short films from the Turkish city showcased over the course of the festival.

Keira Knightley“Last Night,” which stars Keira Knightley, Sam Worthington and Eva Mendes, is the debut feature from director Missy Tadjedin. An American-French co-production bought by Miramax, the film follows a married couple encountering temptations on a weekend apart.

Danny Boyle’s “127 Hours” and Clint Eastwood’s “Hereafter,” recently announced as the closing-night attractions at the London Film Festival and the New York Film Festival, respectively, will also screen at Toronto, as will “What’s Wrong with Virginia?,” the directorial debut from “Milk” screenwriter Dustin Lance Black, and Casey Affleck’s documentary (or mock documentary?) about Joaquin Phoenix, “I’m Still There.”

Newly announced bookings also include the Will Ferrell film “Everything Must Go,” based on a Raymond Carver short story; “Let Me In,” the remake of the Swedish horror film “Let the Right One In”; John Sayles' "Amigo"; and Mitch Glazer's "Passion Play," with a cast that includes Mickey Rourke, Megan Fox and Bill Murray.

The Midnight Madness program, which focuses on horror and genre films, will include John Carpenter’s “The Ward,” Guy Moshe’s “Bunraku,” Wu Ershan’s “The Butcher, the Chef and the Swordsman,” Dante Lam’s “Fire of Conscience,” James Wan’s “Insidious,” Julien Carbon’s and Laurent Courtiaud’s “Red Nights,” Jim Mickle’s “Stake Land,” Brad Anderson’s “Vanishing on 7th Street” and James Gunn’s “Super.”

According to tweets from festival co-director Cameron Bailey, Istanbul was chosen from a shortlist that also included Berlin, Bucharest, Buenos Aires and Manila.

Organizers, he said, briefly reconsidered their decision to focus on Istanbul after a May raid that killed eight Turkish nationals and one Turkish-American.

Despite that, Bailey said in the press release announcing the selection, Istanbul won out. “Over the past five years, filmmakers from this vibrant metropolis have been winning awards at Cannes and Berlin,” he said. “Now, some are making the leap to festivals outside of Europe. We’re so pleased to feature films from Istanbul this year: audiences will have access to strong emerging filmmakers, at the moment just before they're sure to be discovered somewhere else.”

Last year’s City to City choice, Tel Aviv, proved to be hugely controversial. At least three films pulled out of the festival, and more than 50 actors and filmmakers signed a letter protesting the choice of Tel Aviv so soon after the Gaza war, and accusing the festival of being “complicit in the Israeli propaganda machine.”

Among those speaking out against the choice were Viggo Mortensen, Julie Christie, Ken Loach and Jane Fonda, the last of whom called the letter “unnecessarily inflamatory.”

A counter letter headed “We don’t need another blacklist” was signed by Natalie Portman, Sacha Baron Cohen and Jerry Seinfeld, among others.

The full list of new additions, from the TIFF press releases:


Closing Night Film: 

“Last Night”
Massy Tadjedin, USA/France
World Premiere 

With Keira Knightley, Eva Mendes, Sam Worthington and Guillaume Canet.  

“Sarah’s Key”
Gilles Paquet Brenner, France
World Premiere

With Kristin Scott Thomas, Niels Arestrup and Aidan Quinn.

Special Presentations

“127 Hours”
Danny Boyle, USA
World Premiere

With James Franco, Clémence Poésy, Amber Tamblyn and Kate Mara.

John Sayles, USA
World Premiere

“Deep in the Woods”
Benoît Jacquot, France/Germany
North American Premiere

“Everything Must Go”
Dan Rush, USA
World Premiere

With Will Ferrell

“Gorbaciòf – The Cashier who Liked Gambling”  
Stefano Incerti, Italy
North American Premiere

With Toni Servillo, Mi Yang and Nello Mascia. 

Clint Eastwood, United Kingdom
World Premiere

With Matt Damon, Cécile de France, Jay Mohr and Bryce Dallas Howard.

“I’m Still Here”
Casey Affleck, USA
International Premiere

“Julia’s Eyes”
Guillem Morales, Spain
World Premiere

With Belén Rueda and Lluis Homar.

“The Last Circus”
Álex de la Iglesia, Spain/France
North American Premiere

“Let Me In”
Matt Reeves, United Kingdom / USA
World Premiere

With Chloë Moretz and Kodi Smit-McPhee.

“The House by the Medlar Tree”
Pasquale Scimeca, Italy
International Premiere 

Milcho Manchevski, Macedonia/France/Bulgaria
World Premiere

John Turturro, Italy
North American Premiere

“Passion Play”
Mitch Glazer, USA
World Premiere

With Mickey Rourke, Megan Fox and Bill Murray.

“The Poll Diaries”
Chris Kraus, Germany/Austria/Estonia
World Premiere

“Rio Sex Comedy”
Jonathan Nossiter, France/Brazil
World Premiere

With Charlotte Rampling, Bill Pullman and Fisher Stevens. 

“Special Treatment”
Jeanne Labrune, France/Luxembourg/Belgium
World Premiere

“What's Wrong With Virginia”
Dustin Lance Black, USA
World Premiere

With Jennifer Connelly, Ed Harris and Emma Roberts.

Midnight Madness

Guy Moshe, USA 
With Josh Hartnett, Demi Moore, Woody Harrelson and Ron Perlman.

“The Butcher, The Chef and the Swordsman”
Wuershan, Hong Kong, China/USA
World Premiere

“Fire of Conscience”
Dante Lam, Hong Kong, China
North American Premiere

Starring Leon Lai.

James Wan, USA
World Premiere

With Rose Byrne, Barbara Hershey and Patrick Wilson.

“Red Nights”
Julien Carbon, Laurent Courtiaud, Hong Kong, China/France
World Premiere  

“Stake Land”
Jim Mickle, USA
World Premiere  

James Gunn, USA
World Premiere  

With Rainn Wilson, Liv Tyler, Kevin Bacon and Ellen Page.

“Vanishing on 7th Street”
Brad Anderson, USA
World Premiere  

With Hayden Christensen, Thandie Newton and John Leguizamo.

“The Ward”
John Carpenter, USA
World Premiere
With Amber Heard.