Toronto Film Festival to open with world premiere of Passchendaele

Mumbai: The 33rd Toronto International Film Festival opens 4 September with the world premiere of Passchendaele.

The film has been written, directed and produced by Canadian filmmaker Paul Gross. Co-produced by Niv Fichman, Frank Siracusa and Francis Damberger, Passchendaele stars Gross, Caroline Dhavernas, Gil Bellows and Joe Dinicol. The 33rd Toronto International Film Festival runs 4-13 September.

"It is rare that Canadians get to experience their own histories via the moving image, particularly on the big screen," says Toronto International Film Festival director and CEO Piers Handling.

"Gross is an inspiring Canadian and a leader in our industry," says Toronto International Film Festival co-director Cameron Bailey. "By paying tribute to our nation’s heroes – including his own grandfather, an Alberta veteran of Passchendaele – Gross uses the visceral charge of movies to contribute a foundation chapter to our national history."

Set during the height of the First World War, Passchendaele tells the story of Sgt. Michael Dunne (Gross), a soldier who is brutally wounded in France and returns home to Calgary emotionally and physically scarred.

While in the military hospital in Calgary, he meets Sarah (Dhavernas), a mysterious and attractive nurse with whom he falls passionately in love. When Sarah’s younger brother David (Dinicol) – despite suffering from severe asthma – signs up to fight in Europe, Michael is compelled to return to the battlefield to protect him. Alongside thousands of other courageous Canadians, David and Michael are sent to fight in the third battle of Ypres.

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