News Column

Toronto 2013: Bob Guccione, Donald Rumsfeld among fest's doc subjects

July 30, 2013

YellowBrix

July 30--A chronicle of the life of Bob Guccione, an examination of the bank robber who inspired "Dog Day Afternoon" and a painterly inquiry from the latter half of Penn & Teller are among the documentaries receiving the world-premiere treatment from the Toronto International Film Festival in September.

Organizers on Tuesday announced this year's slate of nonfiction films, and they include some colorful subjects (and filmmakers).

Making their world premieres are "Filthy Gorgeous: The Bob Guccione Story," Barry Avrich's look at the tumultuous life of the iconoclastic Penthouse founder; Allison Berg and Frank Keraudren's "The Dog," an investigation into John Wojtowicz, the man behind the 1972 Brooklyn bank robbery that inspired Sidney Lumet's "Dog Day Afternoon;" and "Tim's Vermeer," Teller's story of a man named Tim Jenison and his quest to uncover the techniques of Dutch painter Johannes Vermeer.

"Guccione" and "Dog" have received distribution deals, from cable-channel Epix and Sony Pictures Classics, respectively.

The festival will also screen Errol Morris' "The Unknown Known" after it world-premieres at Venice about a week before. In the movie, out from Radius later this year, the "Fog of War" helmer offers his signature tough-question session with Donald Rumsfeld.

Other documentaries making their world premieres at the festival include 'Mission Congo,' David Turner and Lara Zizic's examination of a cataclysmic African war; "Finding Vivian Maier,' John Maloof and Charlie Siskel's search for a lost photographer; Chris Jordan's "Midway," about the plight of trash-ingesting albatross; and Madeline Sackler's "Unstable Elements," about the underground Belarus Free Theater.

Also among the twenty titles screening in the docs section are a number of films that made their debut elsewhere, including Sarah McCarthy's "The Dark Matter of Love," about the messy integration of foreign-born children with the Wisconsin family that adopts them and "At Berkeley," Frederick Wiseman's exploration of the famed Northern California university. Cannes '13 favorites--including Claude Lanzmann's Holocaust film "Last of the Unjust" and Frank Pavrich's "Jodorowsky's Dune," about the Chilean auteur Alejandro Jodorowsky's misbegotten quest to make a movie of Frank Herbert's sci-fi staple--will also be screened.

Follow me on Twitter at http://twitter.com/ZeitchikLAT

Meredith Blake contributed to this report.

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