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World premiere of 'Brad's Status' is part of Toronto film fest's Platform lineup

World premiere of 'Brad's Status' is part of Toronto film fest's Platform lineup
Austin Abrams, left, and Ben Stiller in "Brad's Status," written and directed by Mike White. (Amazon Studios)

The Toronto International Film Festival announced Thursday the lineup for this year's Platform section. Now in its third year, the juried competition showcases original voices in contemporary cinema.

The selection will include the world premiere of "Brad's Status," written and directed by Mike White and starring Ben Stiller.

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This year's program will open with "The Death of Stalin," directed and co-written by Armando Iannucci. With a cast that includes Jason Isaacs, Rupert Friend, Michael Palin and Andrea Riseborough, the movie is the first from Iannucci since 2009's "In the Loop" and the creation of the TV series "Veep."

The section will close with Australian filmmaker Warwick Thornton's period western "Sweet Country," starring Sam Neill and Bryan Brown. The film was previously announced as part of the main competition at the upcoming Venice International Film Festival.

Other notable films include new works from Austria's Barbara Albert and England's Clio Barnard.

"The films unveiled today embody our bold vision for the program, and our ongoing commitment to showcase artistic and inventive directors that fearlessly push boundaries," said Piers Handling, director and chief executive of TIFF, in a statement. "The 12 titles exemplify bravery, dynamism and a unique voice in storytelling that we look for when curating the Platform program."

"Platform," Cameron Bailey, TIFF's artistic director, said in a statement, "is the place to look for the distinct stamp of today's most interesting directors as they establish their reputations."

Last year's selection included Barry Jenkins' "Moonlight," which went on to win three Academy Awards, including best picture; Pablo Larrain's "Jackie," which earned three Oscar nominations; and William Oldroyd's recently released "Lady Macbeth."

The jury for this year's Platform section will be Chinese filmmaker Chen Kaige, Polish filmmaker Malgorzata Szumowska and German filmmaker Wim Wenders.

The complete Platform lineup:

  • “Beast,” Michael Pearce, United Kingdom, world premiere

  • “Brad's Status,” Mike White, USA, world premiere

  • “Custody,” Xavier Legrand, France, North American premiere

  • “Dark River,” Clio Barnard, United Kingdom, world premiere

  • “The Death of Stalin,” Armando Iannucci, France/United Kingdom/Belgium, world premiere

  • “Euphoria,” Lisa Langseth, Sweden/Germany, world premiere

  • “If You Saw His Heart,” Joan Chemla, France, world premiere

  • “Mademoiselle, Paradis,” Barbara Albert, Austria/Germany, world premiere

  • “Razzia,” Nabil Ayouch, France, world premiere

  • “The Seen and Unseen,” Kamila Andini, Indonesia, world premiere

  • “Sweet Country,” Warwick Thornton, Australia, North American premiere

  • “Hva vil folk si” (What Will People Say), Iram Haq, Norway/Germany/Sweden, world premiere

The 2017 Toronto International Film Festival is set for Sept. 7-17.

Follow on Twitter: @IndieFocus

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