Atonement to launch Vancouver International Film Festival

The Vancouver International Film Festival is set to launch with the opening film Atonement, starring Keira Knightly and directed by Joe Wright.

The Vancouver International Film Festival is set to launch with the opening film Atonement, starring Keira Knightly and directed by Joe Wright.

The festival, running from Sept .27 to Oct. 12, has released a list of about 300 films.

Atonement, based on the novel by Ian McEwan, won the National Book Critics' Circle Award and the WH Smith Literary Award.

The closing film will be Priceless, described as a "comedy of morals," starring Amélie's Audrey Tautou as a schemer who is taken for a ride, so to speak, by a blue-collar worker.

The Canadian Images opening will be the film adaptation of Margaret Laurence's classic novel, The Stone Angel, starring Ellen Burstyn.

Canadian director Jeremy Podeswa will be on hand at the screening of his film, Fugitive Pieces, which opened the Toronto International Film Festival. The film is based on the best-selling novel by Anne Michaels.

Other special presentations include the winner of the Palme d'Or at Cannes, Romanian Christian Mungiu's 4 Months, 3 weeks & 2 days; Ang Lee's Lust, Caution, which just captured the Golden Lion at the Venice film festival; and Persepolis, the animated adaptation of Marjane Satrapi's graphic novel.

One of the unique categories of this festival is its East Asian focus,"Dragons and Tigers."

Some of the highlights in this category include Dead Time, Joko Anwar's political ghost thriller; and The Sun Also Rises, an operatic tale of love and madness in 1970s China by actor-director Jiang Wen.