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Berry Hertz 
Arts & Entertainment Editor

September. For many, it means going back to the daily grind of school, moving away from home, or even celebrating Yom Kippur. For others, it means the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) is almost here.

The annual festival, which runs September 7 to 17, will celebrate its second year of using the Ryerson Theatre to show domestic and international films. Here’s a preview of what to see and how to see it.

Tickets, Lines and Crying
Advanced tickets go on sale Sept. 7 either online or at the main TIFF box office (Manulife Centre, 55 Bloor St. W.) but be prepared for early lineups that snake around the block, and then even more frustration as you find out your picks have already been sold out.There are also same-day tickets available at specific theatres for certain shows, which leaves room for more spontaneity. If you’re really desperate for that new Takashi Miike masterpiece, though, check out the rush lines, which are held before each sold-out show in case ticket-holders don’t arrive or there are more seats than expected.

Potential Oscar Fodder
Each year there are a dozen films arriving at the TIFF with Miramax-levels of Oscar hype behind them. Unsurprisingly, most of them hit normal theatres within a month. So, while Cameron Crowe’s Elizabethtown, David Cronenberg’s A History of Violence or the Johnny Cash biopic Walk the Line look to be sure-bets, wait until they come to the Carlton Cinema, or even the Paramount if you must, and save your time for harder-to-find offerings.

There are always directors who get too caught up in the studio system and feel the need to come back to indie-earth. This year it’s perennial oddball Steven Soderbergh as he presents his all-amateur cast in Bubbles. Soderbergh’s partner-in-crime, George Clooney, also directs Goodnight, and Good Luck, his take on Edward R. Murrow, which is getting good buzz from the lead performance of David Strathairn. After the aborted mess of this summer’s The Brothers Grimm, Terry Gilliam brings his surreal family tale Tideland, but the real hype surrounds whether newly bankrupt singer Leonard Cohen will appear to present Lian Lunson’s documentary Leonard Cohen I’m Your Man.

The true reason cinephiles line up in the not-always-kind September weather is to view as many foreign films as possible, since many festival picks never see distribution or a big screen again. This year brings a typically eclectic array of world cinema, including Tsui Hark’s Seven Swords and Takeshi Kitano’s (Battle Royale) Takeshis. Also premiering are Iran’s Majid Majidi’s The Willow Tree and Alain Tasma’s October 17, 1961.

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