Emma Mackey as Emily Brontë. (Image: Michael Wharley)

Toronto International Film Festival is proving busy for Arenamedia this year, with Frances O’Connor’s Emily to open the event’s Platform section.

Starring Sex Education‘s Emma Mackey as Wuthering Heights author Emily Brontë, the UK film marks British-Australian O’Connor’s directorial debut after a three decade career as an actress.

Robert Connolly and Robert Patterson of Arenamedia are the producers, alongside David Barron (Harry Potter franchise) and Piers Tempest (Military Wives).

As IF reported last week, the Connolly-helmed Blueback is also premiering at TIFF in the Special Presentations section.

Emily is Brontë’s origin story, with TIFF describing the film as a “boldly atmospheric portrait” and “a tale of creativity, secret desire, and a woman’s arduous journey toward self-actualisation in 19th-century England.”

Starring alongside Mackey are Fionn Whitehead (Dunkirk), Oliver Jackson-Cohen (The Invisible Man), Alexandra Dowling (The Musketeers), Amelia Gething (The Spanish Princess), as well as Gemma Jones (Rocketman), and Adrian Dunbar (Line of Duty).

Backers of Emily include Ingenious Media, with Peter Touche as an executive producer, as well as from Spitfire Audio Holdings, The Post Republic, and Tempo.

Madman Entertainment has the ANZ distribution rights.

Toronto’s Platform section was established in 2015 and films from a diverse range of global filmmakers with rising careers, with an international jury awarding one $CAD20,000. Previous winners include Warwick Thornton’s Sweet Country.

TIFF runs September 8–18.

The full Platform line-up is below:

Charcoal (Carvão) Carolina Markowicz | Brazil, Argentina
World Premiere

Platform Opening Night Film
Emily Frances O’Connor | UK
World Premiere

The Gravity (La Gravité) Cédric Ido | France
World Premiere

Hawa Maïmouna Doucouré | France
World Premiere

How to Blow Up a Pipeline Daniel Goldhaber | USA
World Premiere

Riceboy Sleeps Anthony Shim | Canada
World Premiere

Subtraction (Tafrigh) Mani Haghighi | Iran, France
World Premiere

Thunder (Foudre) Carmen Jaquier | Switzerland
World Premiere

Tora’s Husband Rima Das | India
World Premiere

Viking Stéphane Lafleur | Canada

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