The Toronto Film Festival, which this year arrives at its 33rd edition, has become of the major temperature-takers of international new cinema and this year promises not to disappoint. Highlights of the programme include a special line-up of Asian films, including Machan, the debut film by Full Monty producer Uberto Pasolini. The programme is also focusing on Spanish-language cinema, including teen comedies, documentaries, dramas and more experimental fare. Elsewhere, a section called Wavelengths looks at avant-guard cinema. Comprising six programmes, the eighth edition of this programme is once again curated by Cinematheque Ontario programmer Andréa Picard and features 26 films and videos by renowned and emerging artists, including James Benning, Olaf Nicolai, Pat O’Neill, Nathaniel Dorsky, Jennifer Reeves, Ben Russell and Jean-Marie Straub. Finally, the documentary section comprises a varied line-up, including Valentino: The Last Emperor, by Matt Tyrnaue, about the Italian fashion designer and Chai Vasarhelyi’s Youssou Ndour: I Bring What I Love, which follows Africa’s most famous musician as he releases the album Egypt.

MILANO FILM FESTIVAL (12 – 21/09/08)

Now in its 13th edition, the Milano festival’s main premise is to "search for new talents". Among the feature films, seven debut works, two documentaries, and ten Italian premières from nine countries. The 2008 Feature Film Award will be conferred by a jury including a wide range of well-known figures in Italian culture: authors Filippo Timi and Silvia Ballestra, film editor Carlotta Cristiani, filmmaker Alessandro Piva and musician Manuel Agnelli. The film line-up includes Mermaid, by Azerbaijan-born Russian filmmaker Anna Melikian and Fujian Blue by the Chinese Weng Shou-ming. The Short Film Competition will present 48 works that will be awarded by a delegation from the British Film Institute. It includes a selection of works from 23 countries, including Canada, Finland, Taiwan, Iceland, Argentina, and Lithuania.

FILMFEST HAMBURG (25/9 – 2/10/08)

The 16th Filmfest Hamburg, whose theme is Diversity and Unity, also has announced its 2008 programme. According to the organisation, the festival is devoted to "the fragile relationship between cultural levelling and the protection of identity. The selected films depict ambivalent phenomena of how diversity affects politics and culture as well as private, family domains on a global scale." Among the highlights are surveys of the works of British director Terence Davies and Polish director Jerzy Skolimowski. Other films that will be shown include Ben Hopkins’ Pazar – Der Markt‘, the tale of a merchant in Eastern Turkey, Rabah Ameur-Zaïmeche’s Adhen, a study of violence in immigrant ghettos around Paris, and Sandra Kogut’s Mutum, a semi-documentary feature film about a Brazilian countryside community, featuring a cast of professional and non-professional actors.

For more information on all three events, please see links on the left of the page.