Sue Brooks’ Looking for Grace will screen in Platform, a new competitive section of the Toronto International Film Festival which showcases films that have a strong directorial vision.

The road movie starring Richard Roxburgh, Radha Mitchell, Odessa Young and Terry Norris is the only Australian title in the running for the $C25,000 prize determined by the jury of filmmakers Jia Zhang-ke, Claire Denis and Agnieszka Holland.

That strengthens Australia’s profile at the event which runs September 10-20. Jocelyn Moorhouse’s The Dressmaker will have its world premiere in Gala Presentations,  Simon Stone’s The Daughter will have its North American premiere in Special Presentations and Jennifer Peedom’s Sherpa and Gillian Armstrong’s Women He’s Undressed will compete in TIFF Docs.

Young, who also stars in The Daughter, plays 16-year-old Grace, who has run away from home. Her exasperated parents head to the West Australian wheat belt with a retired detective to try to get her back. Life unravels faster than they can put it back together

“We created this new program as a way to sharpen our focus on artistically ambitious cinema in our 40th year and we are thrilled to be able to put the spotlight on these 12 brilliant filmmakers this September," said Piers Handling, director and CEO of TIFF.

"They are major creative forces: the next generation of masters whose personal vision will captivate audiences, industry members and media from around the world.”

Produced by Lizzette Atkins, Sue Taylor and Alison Tilson, Looking for Grace will have its world premiere in official competition at the Venice International Film Festival next month.

Sue Brooks said, “When you like to make, and see, films that are a little bit different, it is fantastic that this section exists and even better to have the film you have just made accepted in it. Not only will your film have an opportunity to be seen by an international audience, but you will have the opportunity to see the films of and meet some of the film makers from around the world who are making artistically ambitious films.”

Palace Films general manager Nicolas Whatson, who will release the film on Australia Day, said: “For Looking for Grace to receive selection in the inaugural competition alongside just 11 other features from around the world is a huge honour.”

The Platform program includes Ben Wheatley’s High-Rise, the tale of a doctor who can't escape the neighbours in his new apartment building, starring Elisabeth Moss and Tom Hiddleston; Fabienne Berthaud’s Sky, which looks at a woman who splits from her French husband while on holiday in the US; and Alan Zweig’s Hurt, a portrait of one-legged cancer survivor Steve Fonyo, who raised millions with a cross-Canada run only to succumb to crime and addiction.

Here is the line-up:.

Bang Gang (A Modern Love Story), Eva Husson, France, world premiere
The Clan (El Clan), Pablo Trapero, Argentina/Spain, North American premiere
French Blood (Un Français), Diastème, France, international premiere
Full Contact, David Verbeek, Netherlands/Croatia, world premiere
High-Rise, Ben Wheatley, United Kingdom, world premiere
Hurt, Alan Zweig, Canada, world premiere
Land of Mine (Under Sandet / Unter dem Sand), Martin Zandvliet, Denmark/Germany, world premiere
Looking for Grace, Sue Brooks, Australia, North American premiere
Neon Bull (Boi Neon), Gabriel Mascaro, Brazil/Uruguay/Netherlands, North American premiere
The Promised Land (Hui Dao Bei Ai De Mei Yi Tian), He Ping, China, world premiere
Sky, Fabienne Berthaud, France/Germany, world premiere
The White Knights (Les Chevaliers blancs), Joachim Lafosse, France/Belgium, world premiere


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