Toronto Film Festival 2014: British films set for premieres from The Imitation Game to The Theory of Everything

Benedict Cumberbatch and Eddie Redmayne star in two films paving the path for British talent at the 39th annual Canadian event

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The Independent Culture

Benedict Cumberbatch, Kate Winslet and Keira Knightley are among the stars set to feature in more than 20 British films screening at the prestigious Toronto International Film Festival this month.

Robert Downey Jr's The Judge kicks off proceedings in the Canadian city later today, before a host of other movies are presented to an estimated 400,000 attendees.

Cumberbatch will star as genius codebreaker Alan Turing in The Imitation Game after The Fifth Estate, in which he played Julian Assange, suffered a critical panning as last year’s festival opener.

Eddie Redmayne will be seen in Stephen Hawking biopic The Theory of Everything, Max Irons, Sam Claflin and Douglas Booth star as belligerent posh boys in The Riot Club, while Mike Leigh's Mr Turner will be hoping for further acclaim after receiving a warm reception at Cannes.

Past acclaimed films to host their world or North American premiere at Toronto include 12 Years a Slave, The King's Speech, Argo, Silver Linings Playbook, Crash and Chariots of Fire.

British films set for Toronto buzz

The Imitation Game

Benedict Cumberbatch and Keira Knightley star as World War II codebreaker Alan Turing and his friend and co-worker Joan Clarke in this hotly-tipped biopic, set to open the London Film Festival in October.

The Theory of Everything

This biopic from James Marsh studies the relationship between Stephen Hawking and his wife Jane, from their meeting at Cambridge University to the physicist's motor neurone disease diagnosis. Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones have been cast in the lead roles, with the storyline based on a memoir penned by Jane.

A Little Chaos

Alan Rickman has taken the director’s chair once more for this period drama. Set to close the festival, A Little Chaos sees Oscar-winning actress Kate Winslet take on the role of a landscaper invited to design one of the Palace of Versailles’ fountains. Rickman makes a front of camera appearance too, as King Louis XIV.


Bafta-winning filmmaker Morgan Matthews has helmed this film about autistic maths prodigy Nathan, who finds confidence and friends while competing for Britain at the International Mathematics Olympiad. Asa Butterfield and Rage Spall take the leads, while Sally Hawkins and Eddie Marsan also feature.

The Riot Club

Douglas Booth, Sam Claflin and Max Irons star in this stomach-churning, rage-inducing fictional account of Oxford University's notorious Bullingdon Club, based on Laura Wade's 2010 play Posh.

The Face of an Angel

English director Michael Winterbottom is behind this thriller, based on the high profile Meredith Kercher and Amanda Knox case, about a journalist and a documentary filmmaker pursuing the story of a murder and its prime suspect. Kate Beckinsale and Daniel Bruhl star in the leads while supermodel Cara Delevingne makes her big screen debut.


Mr Turner

It was highly-praised at Cannes earlier this year, but whether Mike Leigh's artistic biopic will go down quite so well in Toronto remains to be seen. The film, starring Timothy Spall in the title role, focuses on the last quarter century of eccentric British painter JMW Turner's life.


Paul Bettany's directorial debut follows the lives of the homeless in a drama set on the street of New York City. The Wimbledon star wrote the script himself and cast his wife Jennifer Connelly in the lead as homeless woman Hannah. Hannah falls in love with Tahir, played by Anthony Mackie, after they meet while sleeping rough.