Frances O’Connor’s ‘Emily’ premieres at Toronto Film Festival

The organizers of the Toronto International Film Festival have announced that Emily, a biopic by author Emily Brontë, will debut at the upcoming festival. The film will be one of the few films to screen in Toronto’s emerging Platform program, as well as being director Frances O’Connor’s feature debut.

Emily was first announced in 2020 and will center on real-life author Emily Brontë, best known for writing The Wuthering Heights, who is now considered a classic piece of literature, but also wrote a multitude of poems with her sisters Charlotte and Anne Brontë and sometimes wrote under the name Ellis Bell. Emma Mackey, best known for her appearances on Sex education (2019), will play Emily in the upcoming biopic, along with other cast members including Amelia Gething (The Spanish Princess) as Anne Bronte, Fionn Whitehead (Black Mirror: Bandersnatch) as Emily Branwell Brontë’s brother, Oliver Jackson-Cohen (The invisible Man) like William Weightman, Harry Anton (Ransom) like Bill Heathcliff and Sacha Parkinson (Mr Selfridge) like Ellen Nussey, among others.

‘Emily’ at the Toronto Film Festival platform

Emily debuts as one of 10 films chosen as part of the Toronto International Film Festival’s Platform program, which, according to Variety, was created in 2015 and is named after the 2000 Jia Zhang-ke film of the same name. Platform program executives said its goal is to promote and support a small handful of up-and-coming films from new and upcoming creators. After being screened at the festival and in front of an international jury, the winning film will receive $200,000 and the Platform Prize; Variety reports that previous platform award winners include Moonlight (2016), Stalin’s death (2017), and Jackie (2016).

Regarding the festival’s mission, Toronto Film Festival CEO Cameron Bailey said Deadline“We launched Platform to shine a light on some of the most original films and distinct voices at our Festival… Now, in its seventh year, it has become a veritable home for burgeoning international authors.”

Toronto programming director Anita Lee also had the following to say about the platform’s selections:

“Eclectic in outlook, this year’s selection not only represents all the world premieres of exciting and rising voices from around the world, but also reflects the very timely and unique perspectives of racialized filmmakers from diasporic communities who expand the canvas.”

Frances O’Connor will be vying for the Platform Award with Emily as his first feature film. Some of O’Connor’s other roles include Monica Swinton in AI Artificial Intelligence (2001), Emily Hughes in missing (2014) and Nina Locke in Netflix locke and key (2017), among others.

The Toronto International Film Festival, featuring Emily by Frances O’Connor, will begin September 8 and run through September 18, 2022.

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