nullThe 39th edition of the Toronto International Film Festival has announced its closing night gala selection, along with 59 other feature films that were officially named today, Tuesday. 

Among the always impressive slate of high-profile films making their world premieres at the festival, are a few that we’ve been tracking on this blog, including a feature film Nicole Beharie was initially attached to co-star in (when the project was first announced in late 2012), but, unbeknownst to me, apparently exited the project, and was replaced by Muna Otaru, an actress whose name wasn’t familiar to me – at least, before today’s news.

nullOtaru co-stars in the Civil War drama titled "The Keeping Room," alongside Brit Marling and Hailee Steinfeld, in a film that tells the story of 3 Southern women (2 of them sisters, and the third, a slave) who are forced to defend their home in the last days of the war, against a large group of soldiers who have broken off from the Union Army.

Marling and Steinfeld play the sisters, while Otaru plays the slave (a role that Beharie was initially tapped to for).

Sam Worthington and Kyle Soller co-star.

"The Keeping Room" is directed by Daniel Barber, from a script written by Julia Hart. 

Anonymous Content, Wind Dancer Films, Gilbert Films are all producers.

When it was first announced, the project was described as "cinematic, thrilling and dangerous," and full of "profound themes."

TIFF calls it a "stunning suspense drama."

Looking over Muna Otaru’s IMDB page, her past credits include appearances in "Syriana," "Lions for Lambs," and "Rendition" on the big screen. She also featured in episodes of "Lost" and "The Wire" on the small screen.

Her role in "The Keeping Room" just might be one that increases awareness of her and her talent.

No media for the film yet, except for the above still image (courtesy of TIFF) which features the 3 lead actresses.

This year’s Toronto International Film Festival, one of the top movie showcases and a favored platform to unveil Oscar contenders, will run from September 4-14.

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