The Grand Seduction, a dramatic comedy set on Canada's East Coast and starring B.C. actor Taylor Kitsch and Irish star Brendan Gleeson, will kick-off this year's Atlantic Film Festival.

Organizers unveiled the Don McKellar-directed title — which also features Canadian performers Gordon Pinsent, Mary Walsh, Cathy Jones, Mark Critch and Liane Balaban — as the opening night film today. 

"The Atlantic Canadian film selections are the heart of the Atlantic Film Festival year in and year out," program director Jason Beaudry said in a statement.

"We're proud to begin the lead-up to the festival by announcing the selection of over 80 Atlantic-produced films for this year's program — a year-to-year increase of over 30 per cent."

The Grand Seduction is based on the earlier French-Canadian film La Grande Séduction (known in English as Seducing Dr. Lewis) penned by Ken Scott and directed by Jean-François Pouliot.

It follows a big-city physician who turns up in a harbour town that's in desperate need of a doctor. There, a village leader spurs the inhabitants into a campaign to seduce the young doctor to settle permanently in the community, so the town can secure a factory to save it from financial ruin.

Other films joining the lineup include the apocalyptic horror film There Are Monsters, directed by Jay Dahl, the coming-of-age story Hard Drive from filmmaker William D. MacGillivray and documentaries Buying Sex (directed by Teresa MacInnes and Kent Nason) and Secretariat's Jockey Ron Turcotte (directed by Phil Comeau).

Altogether, the festival will screen more than 150 films from across Atlantic Canada and the world.

The 2013 Atlantic Film Festival runs Sept. 12-19 in Halifax.