Some of the world’s biggest movie stars are flocking to Toronto where a host of films are bidding to generate Oscar buzz on the path to the Academy Awards.
Nearly 300 feature-length films are to be shown at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival, which opens later with the world premiere of The Magnificent Seven – the remake of the 1960 classic Western – starring Denzel Washington, Ethan Hawke and Chris Pratt.
The 11-day festival, in its 41st year, has showcased a string of films in recent years which have gone on to achieve glory at the Oscars.
The King’s Speech, 12 Years A Slave and Slumdog Millionaire each won the festival’s People’s Choice prize before taking top honours at the Academy Awards.
One of the most high-profile films to premiere at this year’s festival is Oliver Stone’s Snowden, the biopic of NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt.
Oliver, who won a Best Director Oscar for Platoon, has claimed every major movie studio turned down his new film, forcing him to find finance in France and Germany.
Another film making its debut at Toronto is Deepwater Horizon, starring Mark Wahlberg, which tells the story of the BP oil rig disaster in 2010 that created the worst oil spill in US history.
Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling will attend this year’s festival with La La Land, a romantic musical which has attracted rave reviews since its premiere in Venice.
Political dramas will feature prominently at the festival, including Natalie Portman’s portrayal of former First Lady Jackie Kennedy in Jackie, Devon Terrell as a young Barack Obama in Barry and Woody Harrelson as former US president Lyndon Johnson in LBJ.
Meanwhile, The Journey provides an account of the unlikely friendship developed between Northern Ireland’s late Democratic Unionist party leader Ian Paisley – portrayed by Timothy Spall – and Sinn Fein politician Martin McGuinness, played by Colm Meaney.
Sci-fi film Arrival, starring Amy Adams, fantasy drama A Monster Calls featuring Felicity Jones and Liam Neeson, and Trespass Against Us, which stars Michael Fassbender and Brendan Gleeson, will also be screened at the festival.
Justin Timberlake will attend with his concert film JT And The Tennessee Kids, from Silence Of The Lambs director Jonathan Demme.
Slave revolt drama The Birth Of A Nation will also appear at the event after recent focus on director Nate Parker’s acquittal at a rape trial in 2001. It later emerged that the female student who made the accusation killed herself in 2012.
A host of British talent will be on display including Ewan McGregor making his directorial debut with American Pastoral, Bill Nighy and Gemma Arterton in Their Finest, Dev Patel in Lion and David Oyelowo and Rosamund Pike in A United Kingdom.
Fashion designer Tom Ford will also bring his new film Nocturnal Animals, the follow-up to 2009′s A Single Man.
The Toronto International Film Festival runs until September 18.