While the Toronto International Film Festival will never have the Mediterranean charm (or stuffy arthouse movie attitude) of the Cannes or Venice Film Festivals, the Canadian event does have its European rivals beat in one department: Celebrities!
Proximity to the U.S. film capitals of New York and Los Angeles, combined with Canada's ocean borders with Europe and Asia easily make TIFF the most star-studded event of its kind in the world. TIFF is a mosaic of international talent. A-list actors, directors, and producers from all corners of the globe descend on the Ontario metropolis every September for what is rightly called "the festival of festivals."
Of course, the 2012 fest will be no exception. Today TIFF announced the official guest list for the festival, with top-tier Canadian talent leading the pack of multinational superstars and filmmakers.
Canada's golden boy, Ryan Gosling, will return to his home province to premiere his latest film "The Place Beyond the Pines." The film - which co-stars Bradley Cooper and Gosling's girlfriend Eva Mendes (also attending the fest) — will re-team the Gos with "Blue Valentine" director Derek Cianfrance.
See also: Midnight Madness highlights at TIFF 2012
A contingent of some of Hollywood's youngest stars will also be visiting Toronto in a few weeks, many who will be featured in some decidedly adult roles. Kristen Stewart and Garrett Hedlund will debut "On The Road," Joseph Gordon-Levitt will try to assassinate himself in "Looper," Jennifer Lawrence will hit the red carpet for the dramedy "Silver Linings Playbook," Emma Watson will show off "The Perks of Being a Wallflower," Zac Efron will premiere the murder drama "The Paperboy," and squeaky-clean Selena Gomez will show off her wild side in the risqué "Spring Breakers" alongside James Franco.
A-listers like Johnny Depp, Colin Firth, Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Viggo Mortensen, Jennifer Connelly, and Will Smith are sure to steal the show, but one of the stars of the fest is sure to be Boston's pride: Ben Affleck. The actor-director has two films at TIFF 2012: the Canadian-flavoured thriller "Argo" (which he also directed) and Terrence Malick's "To The Wonder."
See also: Canadian film highlights at TIFF 2012
Speaking of filmmakers, some of Hollywood's biggest directors will rub shoulders with the cream of the international crop — including Canada's best and brightest — at Toronto this year. Leading the homegrown talent are Toronto's own Sarah Polley and Brandon Cronenberg (son of national treasure David), with the doc "The Stories We Tell" and debut feature "Antiviral," respectively. Amongst the top-tier Tinsel Town directing talent are Paul Thomas Anderson ("The Master"), Spike Lee ("Bad 25"), Barry Levinson ("The Bay"), David O. Russell ("Silver Linings Playbook"), Robert Redford ("The Company You Keep") and the Wachowskis ("Cloud Atlas").
This list barely scratches the surface of the stars and filmmakers who will be attending the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival. For the full list be sure to read TIFF's official press release here.