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Futuristic thriller Looper to open TIFF 2012

The Toronto International Film Festival kicks off its 37th annual instalment the evening of Sept. 6 with what TIFF artistic director Cameron Bailey is calling "a thinking-person's action film," a futuristic thriller titled Looper from U.S. director Rian Johnson. The feature, Johnson's third, stars Bruce Willis, Emily Blunt, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Paul Dano, and goes into wide release three weeks after its Toronto bow.

Looper's premiere, at Roy Thomson Hall, was one of several announcements made Tuesday at a media conference about TIFF's film roster for 2012. Also announced as world-premiere galas were Ben Affleck's historical thriller Argo, Liz Garbus's documentary Love, Marilyn documentary, Canadian director Deepa Mehta's adaptation of Salman Rushdie's novel Midnight's Children , David O. Russell's Silver Linings Playbook starring Jennifer Lawrence and Robert De Niro, and Sergio Castelllitto's Twice Born, a drama set in Sarajevo starring Penelope Cruz and Emile Hirsch.

Until recently TIFF has opened with a Canadian film but last year it went with Davis Guggenheim's U2 documentary From the Sky Down and in 2009 a British feature about Charles Darwin, Creation, starring Paul Bettany and Jennifer Connelly.

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Among other films bowing as world premieres are Mike Newell's refashioning of Charles Dickens' Great Expectations with Ralph Fiennes and Helena Bonham Carter, the Shola Lynch documentary Free Angela & All Political Prisoners, Hyde Park on the Hudson, a drama starring Bill Murray and Samuel West about the friendship between Frankling Delano Roosevelt and Britain's King George VI, A Liar's Autobiogprahy -- The Untrue Story of Monty Python's Graham Chapman, Noah Baumbach's Frances Ha and Margarethe von Trotta's Hannah Arendt, about the German-American philosopher/political theorist Hannah Arendt.

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James More

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