Is the Toronto International Film Festival upon us already? I still have poutine stains on my shirt from last time! Yes, the 2009 fest is less than three months away, and TIFF has just announced the first batch of films that will play. All 24 will be making their North American premieres, so unless you've been to the festivals at Cannes, Venice, or Berlin, it's unlikely that you've seen any of them. Exciting!

In the "Masters" category are films by three directors who qualify for that distinction. Portugal's Manoel de Oliveira -- who is 100 years old (!) and has made 50 films, most of them in the last two decades -- has a new one called Eccentricities of a Blond-Haired Girl, about a man enchanted by a woman he sees from his window. Alain Resnais (Last Year at Marienbad), the 87-year-old Frenchman who got a lifetime achievement at Cannes this year, has Les Herbes Folles (The Wild Grass), a romantic adventure that begins with a lost wallet. And Hirokazu Koreeda, a Japanese spring chicken at 48, will present Air Doll, about a sex doll that becomes a real person -- Lars and the Real Girl meets Pinocchio? Koreeda made the haunting Nobody Knows a few years ago, so I'm onboard for whatever this Air Doll thing is.

The other 21 films announced today are from filmmakers ranging from the old and venerable to the new and enthusiastic. They span, the globe, too, representing countries you expect to see at international film festivals (France, Germany, Italy, etc.) as well as some with much smaller film industries, including Kazakhstan, Colombia, Malaysia, and Uruguay. The complete list of films and their descriptions is in TIFF's press release, as is information about buying passes. The festival runs Sept. 10-19. We'll see you there, right?