By TERRY LAWSON
DETROIT FREE PRESS
Zach Braff loves film festivals, which is why he is taking a break from work on his final season of "Scrubs" to head to Ontario for the Toronto International Film Festival. The 31st annual edition of the festival opens today and runs through Sept. 16.
Braff describes himself as "movie mad," but unlike the thousands of visitors, seeing some of the fest's 352 films is his second priority. His first order of business at North America's largest and most prestigious film festival will be introducing "The Last Kiss," which will have its premiere as one of the festival's 21 special gala presentations before opening in major markets Sept. 15.
"It was great" for the film to be chosen, says Braff, who stars in "The Last Kiss" as a young man whose impending marriage to the perfect woman, played by Jacinda Barrett, is threatened by an act of self-sabotage.
"You couldn't have a better showcase. When you make a movie that's apart from the usual sort of Hollywood film, you always worry if it's going to find an audience, even if you feel really good about the work you've done."
Braff has one thing in common with the 250,000 people who attend some or all of the festival every year. After he's done "everything I can possibly do" for "The Last Kiss," he's hoping to see a few movies. He says he's always "eager to see new films by directors or writers I really like."
Films on the schedule
Many of them will be bringing their films to Toronto this year. Joining "The Last Kiss" on the galas schedule are:
"Breaking and Entering," a new drama by Anthony Minghella, director of "The English Patient."
"Stranger Than Fiction," a comedy starring Will Ferrell and Emma Thompson from "Monster's Ball" director Marc Forster.
"The Fountain," a sci-fi-time-travel epic directed by Darren Aronofsky.
"Volver," the latest film from Spain's Pedro Almodovar.