The Toronto International Film Festival has set the world premiere for a new film from one of Canada’s own, director Atom Egoyan.
Egoyan helms “Seven Veils,” which stars his “Chloe” actress Amanda Seyfried. The thriller will debut with a special screening, in partnership with the Canadian Opera Company, at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts on September 8 before premiering in earnest as part of the festival’s Special Presentation lineup on September 10.
Egoyan’s films have long played at his home festival, so the film’s inclusion is no surprise. And its announcement arrives as TIFF may have to get creative about world premieres amid the ongoing SAG-AFTRA strike that forbids union actors from promoting their work. That means less starry world premieres, and filmmakers instead doing the heavy lifting at conferences and on press lines. TIFF did not reveal in the “Seven Veils” announcement what talent will participate in the world premiere.
“We are honored to premiere Atom Egoyan’s extraordinary film at this year’s festival,” TIFF CEO Cameron Bailey said. “Egoyan’s cinematic works are unmatched, and we’re excited to bring ‘Seven Veils’ to our TIFF audiences and to the city of Toronto, his home.”
The 48th annual festival additionally will host the premieres of Taika Waititi’s long-awaited “Next Goal Wins” and Ladj Ly’s “Les Indésirables.” Like Waititi and Ly, “Seven Veils” director Egoyan is a consistent staple for TIFF; “Seven Veils” marks his 18th film to premiere at the annual festival.
“Seven Veils” stars Emmy winner Seyfried as Jeanine, an earnest theatre director tasked with remounting her former mentor’s most famous work, 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 opera world after so many years away.
“Amanda is a phenomenal actress, and here she brilliantly plays a woman dealing with complex and explosive relationships in her past, present, and future,” Egoyan said in a press statement. “To have the world premiere of this film at TIFF and to be partnering with the Canadian Opera Company really brings my two great passions together in such a beautiful way.”
Egoyan first directed “Salome,” which inspired “Seven Veils,” for the Canadian Opera Company in 1996 and returned earlier this year to revive the production on stage.
In the film, Ambur Braid plays Salome and Michael Kupfer-Radecky stars as John the Baptist, who both led the Canadian Opera Company’s most recent production of “Salome,” also directed by Egoyan. Rebecca Liddiard, Douglas Smith, Mark O’Brien, and Vinessa Antoine round out the cast.
The film will debut in a TIFF Special Presentation World Premiere screening on September 10. “Seven Veils” is an Elevation Pictures and XYZ Films presentation, 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 is handling world sales. Elevation Pictures will distribute the film in Canada.
The 2023 Toronto International Film Festival takes place September 7 through 17.