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“The Help” stars heading to Zurich to close fest – AWARDS ALLEY

By Sean O’Connell
Hollywoodnews.com: The Toronto International Film Festival receives a ton of credit for attracting as many stars for its red carpets and Gala screenings as its does commendable films with awards aspirations. But as with any behemoth (and believe me, TIFF is a monster), there’s always someone in the rear view looking to take your place.

Could the Zurich Film Festival become the next must-attend film festival on the movie lover’s calendar?

THR reports that “The Help” stars Viola Davis and Emma Stone are flying to Zurich to walk the red carpet and help promote their red-hot smash hit. Tate Taylor’s adaptation of Kathryn Stockett’s best-selling novel closes the fest on Oct. 2, and will use the opportunity to keep the August release on awards trackers’ radars as the season rolls on.

But Davis and Stone aren’t alone. Laurence Fishburne presides over this year’s Zurich jury. Jeremy Irons, Sean Penn, Paul Haggis and Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu also plan on attending this year’s festivities, And, as reported, Roman Polanski plans to attend and receive a career award he was supposed to pick up two years ago.

As for the fest’s schedule, it’s brimming with Oscar-caliber titles such as George Clooney’s “The Ides of March,” Michel Hazanavicius’s winning “The Artist,” Steven Soderbergh’s “Contagion,” Steve McQueen’s “Shame,” David Cronenberg’s “A Dangerous Method,” Jonathan Levine’s “50/50,” Bennett Miller’s “Moneyball,” and Lars Von Trier’s “Melancholia.”

The Zurich Film Festival kicks off on Sept. 22, and runs through Oct. 2. And as of now, I’m paying close attention.

For complete Oscar and Film Festival coverage, visit our Awards Alley for the latest news items, reviews and interviews all season long.

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