TIFF reveals more celeb-heavy flicks

The Toronto International Film Festival added nine more feature-film premieres to this year’s line-up and they pack quite a bit of star power (which translates to the possibility of several exciting celebrity sightings this September).

Celebrities strutting their stuff in two Galas and seven Special Presentations include Gerard Butler, Dakota Fanning, Ralph Fiennes, Ricky Gervais, Jennifer Hudson, Keira Knightley and Jeremy Piven.

Secret Life of Bees, based on the bestselling novel of the same name, takes place in 1960s South Carolina. The world premiere Gala presentation stars Fanning, Hudson, Paul Bettany, Alicia Keys, Queen Latifah and Sophie Okonedo.

The second gala is the international premiere of Saul Dibb’s The Duchess, based on the award-winning biography by Amanda Foreman. Knightley stars as the Duchess of Devonshire, Georgiana Spencer. She was England’s original “It Girl,” who also ushered in sweeping political changes. In addition, it features Fiennes, Hayley Atwell, Dominic Cooper and Charlotte Rampling.

Special Presentations include the North American premiere of Guy Ritchie’s RocknRolla, about a Russian mobster in London’s criminal underworld, starring Butler, Piven, Thandie Newton and Tom Wilkinson. Also confirmed was the world premiere of David Koepp’s Ghost Town, starring Gervais as a man brought back to life with the annoying ability to see ghosts.

The much-anticipated Religulous will be making its world premiere. From director Larry Charles, the documentary features Politically Incorrect host Bill Maher as he travels around the globe interviewing people about religion and God.

Other titles include:

Ashes of Time Redux, North American premiere: Wong Kar-wai’s long-planned “reworking” of his only martial arts film, previously unreleased in North America.

Every Little Step, world premiere: a documentary on the making of Broadway’s greatest hit and current revival of A Chorus Line.

Happy-Go-Lucky, North American premiere: a new comedy from Mike Leigh, starring Sally Hawkins and Eddie Marsan, exploring one of the most mysterious of all human qualities: happiness.

Waltz with Bashir, North American premiere: Ari Folman’s animated feature about his search for missing pieces in his life connected to his Israeli army mission in the Lebanon War in the early 1980s.

Thirteen titles were also added to the Masters and Contemporary World Cinema categories.

For more TIFF ’08 coverage, click here.

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