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Last Updated: Thursday, 16 August 2007, 14:33 GMT 15:33 UK
Brick Lane film heads for Toronto
Brick Lane protestors
Local residents objected to the Brick Lane book and film
Controversial British film Brick Lane will have its world premiere at the Toronto Film Festival next month.

Attempts to film Monica Ali's acclaimed novel drew protests from residents of the real Brick Lane in east London, who said the book was "insulting".

The movie, about a Bangladeshi woman sent to London for an arranged marriage, is directed by Sarah Gavron.

Iraq war documentary Battle for Haditha by respected director Nick Broomfield will also have its premiere at Toronto.

The 32nd Toronto International Film Festival runs from September 6 to 15.

Ali's Brick Lane began courting controversy shortly after it was first published in 2003, when a group of Bangladeshi community leaders called the book a "despicable insult".

Monica Ali
Author Monica Ali was nominated for several prestigious prizes
The book's publisher said it did not believe the book's views were offensive.

Last year, production company Ruby Films tried to film exterior scenes on the real street in London's East End.

But the company abandoned its plans and shot the footage elsewhere after more than 100 residents took part in a protest.

Some local Bangladeshis claimed Ali portrayed them as uneducated and unsophisticated.

Brick Lane, which was Ali's debut novel, was shortlisted for the 2003 Booker Prize.

International voices

Elsewhere at the Toronto festival, Broomfield's film focuses on an incident when US marines killed 24 Iraqis in 2005 following the roadside killing of one of their officers.

The war theme continues with the North American premiere of Ang Lee's Shanghai-set war thriller Lust, Caution, and Amos Gitai's Israeli troop withdrawal saga Disengagement.

Other films announced for the festival include former Friends star David Schwimmer's directorial debut Run Fat Boy Run with Simon Pegg, and Ken Loach's It's A Free World.

Festival co-director Noah Cowan said the global film industry was thriving.

"Our commitment to promoting international voices has never been stronger," he said.

Brick Lane makers cancel filming
27 Jul 06 |  Entertainment
Brick Lane 'fury' over film plans
18 Jul 06 |  Entertainment
Ali nominated for US book prize
20 Jan 04 |  Entertainment

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