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TIFF 2011: Morgan Spurlock, Sarah Palin docs chosen for Toronto film fest

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Morgan Spurlock
Kevin Winter/Getty Images

The Toronto International Film Festival has announced its Real to Reel documentary slate for this year. The offerings include the latest from Oscar winners Morgan Spurlock and Davis Guggenheim, Werner Herzog’s look at death row, and a profile of Sarah Palin from controversial British director Nick Broomfield.

TIFF made a landmark decision this year by choosing Guggenheim’s U2 doc From the Sky Down to open the festival a first in the event’s history. Also joining the roster of world-premiere documentaries by Oscar winners is Comic-Con Episode IV: A Fan’s Hope, which Spurlock has been promoting since this year’s San Diego Comic-Con, Jessica Yu’s examination of America’s water shortage Last Call at the Oasis, and Alex Gibney’s The Last Gladiators about pro hockey players. Cameron Crowe’s Pearl Jam Twenty documentary had already been announced for the festival.

Perhaps two of the buzziest films will come from Broomfield and Joan Churchill, whose Sarah Palin — You Betcha! takes another look at the polarizing politician, and Herzog, whose Gazing into the Abyss: A Tale of Death, a Tale of Life follows death-row inmates who have been convicted of triple homicide.

Rounding out the list are Jonathan Demme’s I’m Carolyn Parker: The Good, the Mad, and the Beautiful, Wim Wenders’ 3-D dance doc Pina, and This is not a Film, a slice of life from Iranian director Jafar Panahi. Additional line-up announcements will be made in the next few weeks.

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