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Toronto Festival To Open With World Premiere Of Jon Amiel's Creation

The 34th Toronto International Film Festival® opens September 10 with the world premiere Gala Presentation of Creation, directed by Jon Amiel (The Core, Entrapment, The Man Who Knew Too Little). Produced by Jeremy Thomas, the film tells the life story of Charles Darwin starring Paul Bettany (The Da Vinci Code, Wimbledon, A Beautiful Mind) as Darwin and Jennifer Connelly (He's Just Not That Into You, The Day the Earth Stood Still, A Beautiful Mind) as his wife, Emma.

"The tension between faith and reason is prominent in contemporary culture and this intimate look at Darwin puts a human face on a man whose theory remains controversial to this day," says Piers Handling, Director and CEO of TIFF. "We are pleased to open the Festival with such an impassioned look at Charles Darwin, especially on the year marking the 200th anniversary of his birth."

"We are honoured to open the Festival with Jon Amiel's latest feature," says Cameron Bailey, Co-Director of the Toronto International Film Festival. "By telling a story on many levels, weaving scenes from past and present, this depiction of Darwin promises to deeply move audiences by drawing them into the conflicted mind of a man who presented a concept that changed the world."

Part ghost story, part psychological thriller, part heart-wrenching love story Creation is the story of Charles Darwin. His great, still controversial, book The Origin of Species depicts nature as a battleground. In Creation the battleground is a man's heart. Torn between his love for his deeply religious wife and his own growing belief in a world where God has no place, Darwin finds himself caught in a struggle between faith and reason, love and truth.

The Darwin we meet in Creation is a young, vibrant father, husband and friend whose mental and physical health gradually buckles under the weight of guilt and grief for a lost child. Ultimately it is the ghost of Annie, his adored 10-year-old daughter, who leads him out of darkness and helps him reconnect with his wife and family. Only then is he able to write the book that changed the world.

Written by John Collee and based on the Randal Keynes biography of Darwin titled Annie's Box, Creation was co-developed by Recorded Picture Company with BBC Films and the UK Film Council.

Ticket packages for the Festival are now available for purchase by cash, debit or Visa†. Purchase online at tiff.net/thefestival, by phone at 416-968-FILM or 1-877-968-FILM (Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., closed weekends and holidays) or in person at the Festival Box Office at Nathan Phillips Square (Box Office hours are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., seven days a week), located at 100 Queen Street West, in the white tent, west of the square. The 34th Toronto International Film Festival runs September 10 to 19, 2009.

About Bell Lightbox: Currently under construction, Bell Lightbox, a breathtaking five-storey complex located in downtown Toronto will provide a permanent home for film lovers celebrating cinema from around the world and will propel TIFF forward as an international leader in film culture. Designed by innovative architecture firm KPMB, Bell Lightbox's fluid design encourages exploration, movement and play. The campaign to build Bell Lightbox is generously supported by founding sponsor Bell, the Government of Canada and the Province of Ontario, The King and John Festival Corporation - consisting of the Reitman family and The Daniels Corporation., RBC as Major Sponsor and Official Bank, Visa†, Copyright Collective of Canada, NBC Universal Canada, The Allan Slaight Family, The Brian Linehan Charitable Foundation and CIBC. The Board of Directors, staff and many generous individuals and corporations have also contributed to the campaign. For more information on the Bell Lightbox campaign, visit belllightbox.ca.

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