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Toronto film festival opens with Downey Jr legal drama

Published on Sep 5, 2014 6:24 AM

TORONTO, Canada (AFP) - The red carpet has been rolled out for the 39th Toronto International Film Festival, which opens Thursday amid criticism over new rules meant to cement the event's reputation as an Oscar kingmaker.

The legal drama The Judge - starring Robert Duvall and Robert Downey Jr. as father and son - will kick off North America's largest film festival, which runs through September 14.

Over the next four days, organizers will for the first time showcase only world premieres, including from directors Noah Baumbach, Susanne Bier, François Ozon, Lone Scherfig and Chris Rock.

The new policy was put in place as festivals compete to land more buzz-creating film debuts, explained the Toronto event's co-director Piers Handling.

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