Matthew Heineman’s A Private War will make its world premiere at the 43rd Toronto International Film Festival on Friday, September 14, at Roy Thomson Hall, joining the Festival’s Gala Presentations lineup.
The film marks the feature narrative debut of critically acclaimed director Matthew Heineman (Cartel Land, City of Ghosts) whose previous work in documentary filmmaking has earned him an Academy Award nomination, two Primetime Emmy Awards, and two DGA wins for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Documentary Award.
A biopic based on the true story of award-winning war correspondent Marie Colvin, A Private War stars Rosamund Pike (Gone Girl, Hostiles) in one of her most intense roles to date. Based on a blistering 2012 Vanity Fair article by Marie Brenner, the drama follows Colvin to the front lines of conflicts around the globe as she risks everything to reveal the truth. Pike is joined by supporting cast which includes Jamie Dornan (The Fall, Fifty Shades of Grey), Stanley Tucci (The Lovely Bones, Spotlight), and Tom Hollander (The Night Manager).
A Private War replaces Galveston in the Gala Presentations program. The Toronto Fest decided to withdraw Galveston from its lineup, issuing a statement which read, “We have recently learned director and cast for Galveston are no longer available to attend the Canadian premiere in Toronto due to work commitments. Our Gala Presentations require filmmaker and key cast to be present at the premiere screening at Roy Thomson Hall, and unfortunately we cannot move forward with Galveston in this selection. At this time, all our other programming slots are in place so we have regretfully withdrawn the film. We wish (director) Mélanie Laurent and the film’s production team the very best, and hope Toronto audiences will have the opportunity to see Galveston in the near future.”
Filmmaker Heineman shared, “It has been a deeply personal journey sharing the extraordinary story of Marie Colvin in A Private War. We are so thrilled to be able to finish the film in time to premiere at TIFF and honored to share with the audiences there.”
At a time when journalism itself is under attack, Colvin is one of the world’s most celebrated war correspondents. She is an utterly fearless and rebellious spirit, driven to the front lines of conflicts around the globe to give voice to the voiceless, while constantly testing the limit between bravery and bravado. After being wounded by a grenade in Sri Lanka, she wears a distinctive eye patch and is still as comfortable sipping martinis with London’s elite as she is confronting dictators. Colvin sacrifices loving relationships, and over time her personal life starts to unravel as the trauma she has witnessed takes its toll. Yet her mission to show the true cost of war leads her to embark--along with renowned war photographer Paul Conroy (Dornan)--on the most dangerous assignment of her life, in the besieged Syrian city of Homs.
The 43rd Toronto International Film Festival runs from September 6-16.
A Private War opens in U.S. theaters on November 2. Written by Arash Amel, the film is an Aviron Pictures presentation in association with Tri G and The Fyzz Facility, and a Kamala Films, Thunder Road Films, Savvy Media Holdings, and Denver & Delilah Films production.