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It’s that time of the year, when the Toronto Film Festival begins to announce its giant movie line-up. In so doing, the film calendar formally begins the transition from summer to fall, as the more serious films of the festival circuit approach their debuts.

Foxcatcher (above; trailer here) will show up, as will the Reese Witherspoon film Wild (trailer), the strange-looking Jake Gyllenhaal crime film Nightcrawler (teaser), and Jon Stewart’s first film as a director, Rosewater. There will also be another notable directorial debut as the first film from Chris Evans, Before We Go, will play.

Below you’ll find a list of the Galas (big premieres of generally mainstream films, such as The Judge and The Equalizer) and the Special Presentations, which are often high-profile indies that have distribution already set. Some of these have already premiered at other festivals, while others make their world premiere at TIFF. There are 13 Galas and 46 Special Presentations announced so far, with 37 world premieres. Other directors represented include Jason ReitmanNoah Baumbach, Susanne Bier, François Ozon, Hal Hartley, Mike BinderLone Scherfig, and Chris Rock.

While the festival’s opening night film has not yet been revealed, the closing presentation will be Alan Rickman’s A Little Chaos, starring Kate Winslet, Matthias Schoenaerts, Stanley Tucci, and  Rickman. TIFF runs September 4-14. The full lineup as announced so far is below.

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Russ’ Most Anticipated Films of 2014

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2013 was an amazing year for movies. There are still a couple big films from late in the year that I haven’t yet seen (my second cross-country move in the span of a year, left me scrambling to stay current for the year’s final quarter) and yet I’ve still got a list of favorite 2013 films that includes more than fifteen movies. With any luck I can spend the next evenings catching the couple last big ones to get that “best of ’13″ list out the door.

In the meantime, as many are I’m looking forward to 2014. The next year is absolutely packed-out for blockbusters, but there’s a lot of (potentially) good stuff to enjoy in 2014. Below is my own attempt to organize the coming year in movies, based on what we know right now.

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Fans of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart were met with a decidedly different show Thursday night. It was Stewart’s final show before he leaves for the summer to helm his first film, Rosewater. He’ll return to his award-winning Comedy Central news show in September.

Before leaving, Stewart laid out exactly how the film came about. He showed the initial report on Iranian citizens that started the story, how that tangentially lead to journalist Maziar Bahari being imprisoned and tortured, and how that experience turned into the book Then They Came For Me.

After the jump, check out the segments of The Daily Show where Stewart talks about the film, as well as the full episode. Read More »

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Later this year, The Daily Show host Jon Stewart will take a break from the show to direct his first film, Rosewater. The movie is a fictionalized account of journalist Maziar Bahari’s experience in an Iranian prison, where he was held for almost three months on suspicion of spying.

Now Gael Garcia Bernal has been cast as Bahari, adding another layer of interest to a film that was already bound to receive some close scrutiny. Read More »

Jon Stewart is taking the summer off from The Daily Show, leaving the comedy newscast in the capable hands of John Oliver for eight of the twelve weeks Stewart will be away. There’s good reason for the host’s break from the show, however: he’s doing to direct his first feature film.

In 2011 Stewart announced on the show that he had optioned Maziar Bahari‘s book Then They Came For Me, which tells of Bahari’s capture and imprisonment in Iran, where he was jailed and interrogated for 118 days in 2009. Stewart wrote a script based on the book, and will direct the film, Rosewater, later this year.  Read More »

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