The Hunter, Burning Man, Eye of the Storm set for Toronto

Three new local films have a strong chance of North American distribution after being selected for this year’s Toronto International Film Festival.

Fred Schepisi’s The Eye of the Storm, Daniel Nettheim’s The Hunter and Jonathan Teplitzky’s Burning Man have been selected for the Special Presentations program in the festival – which is known as the “launching pad” into the North American market.

“We’re thrilled that original and vibrant stories from talented Australian filmmakers continue to gain recognition on the international stage,” Screen Australia’s head of marketing Kathleen Drumm said in a statement.

The Eye Of The Storm, which has its Sydney premiere tonight at the Dendy Opera Quays, is Schepisi’s first film in Australia since Evil Angels (1988).

The film, starring Geoffrey Rush, Judy Davis and Charlotte Rampling, is an adaptation of Patrick White’s acclaimed novel of the same name.

In the Sydney suburb of Centennial Park, two nurses, a housekeeper and a solicitor attend to Elizabeth Hunter as her expatriate son and daughter convene at her deathbed. But in dying, as in living, Mrs Hunter remains a powerful force on those who surround her.

It will be released by Paramount/Transmission on September 15. As a side note, Schepisi is currently set to direct The Drowner, however a contract has not yet been signed.

Emotional thriller Burning Man, produced by Andy Paterson and Teplitzky (Better Than Sex), is a funny and moving story of Tom, a British chef at a Bondi Beach restaurant, who is trying to reconnect with his son while contending with all the women in his life.

Teplitzky’s script, which was developed through Screen NSW’s Aurora program, is aimed at an international audience. Screen Australia is the principal investor, with backing from Standard Chartered Bank.

This will be the film’s world premiere.

And, The Hunter is a psychological thriller about a mercenary sent from Europe to the Tasmanian wilderness by an anonymous biotech company to hunt the last Tasmanian Tiger.

Starring Hollywood lead Willem Dafoe, alongside Frances O’Connor, Sam Neill and Morgana Davies, the film is Nettheim's directorial debut and is based on Alice Addison’s adapted screenplay of Julia Leigh’s novel.

The Hunter, which also has its world premiere at Toronto, is currently set for an October 6 release through Madman. View the trailer here.

The Toronto International Film Festival takes place between September 8 and 18.