The Toronto International Film Festival has set the world premiere of a new film by one of the Canadians, director Atom Egoyan.
Egoyan directs “Seven Veils,” starring his “Chloe” actress Amanda Seyfried. The thriller will debut a special screening, in partnership with the Canadian Opera Company, at the Four Seasons Center for the Performing Arts on Sept. 8 before premiering in earnest as part of the festival’s special presentation lineup on Sept. 10.
Egoyan’s films have long screened at his home festival, so the film’s inclusion is no surprise. And his announcement comes as TIFF may have to get creative on world premieres during the ongoing SAG-AFTRA strike that bans union actors from promoting their work. That means less star-studded world premieres and directors doing the heavy lifting at conferences and on press lines instead. TIFF did not reveal in its ‘Seven Veils’ announcement which talent will attend the world premiere.
“We are honored to premiere Atom Egoyan’s extraordinary film at this year’s festival,” said TIFF CEO Cameron Bailey. “Egoyan’s cinematic work is unparalleled and we are thrilled to bring ‘Seven Veils’ to our TIFF audience and to the city of Toronto, his home.”
The 48th annual festival will also host premieres of Taika Waititi’s highly anticipated ‘Next Goal Wins’ and Ladj Ly’s ‘Les Indésirables’. Like Waititi and Ly, “Seven Veils” director Egoyan is a constant staple for TIFF; “Seven Veils” marks her 18th film to premiere at the annual festival.
“Seven Veils” stars Emmy winner Seyfried as Jeanine, an earnest theater director tasked with re-editing her former mentor’s most famous play, the opera ‘Salome.’ Haunted by dark and disturbing memories from her past, Jeanine allows her repressed trauma to color the present as she re-enters the world of opera after so many years away.
“Amanda is a phenomenal actress, and here she brilliantly portrays a woman grappling with complex and explosive relationships in her past, present and future,” Egoyan said in a press release. “Having the world premiere of this film at TIFF and collaborating with the Canadian Opera Company really brings my two great passions together in such a beautiful way.”
Egoyan first conducted “Salome,” which inspired “Seven Veils,” for the Canadian Opera Company in 1996 and returned earlier this year to stage the production again.
In the film, Ambur Braid plays Salome and Michael Kupfer-Radecky plays John the Baptist, both of whom directed the Canadian Opera Company’s latest production of “Salome,” also directed by Egoyan. Rebecca Liddiard, Douglas Smith, Mark O’Brien and Vinessa Antoine round out the cast.
The film will have its world premiere at the TIFF Special Presentation on September 10. “Seven Veils” is a presentation by Elevation Pictures and XYZ Films, produced by Rhombus Media and Ego Film Arts, with the participation of Telefilm Canada and Ontario Creates, in association with IPR.VC, Cinetic Media, Crave and the Canadian Opera Company. XYZ Films handles worldwide sales. Elevation Pictures will distribute the film in Canada.
The Toronto International Film Festival 2023 will run from September 7 to 17.