Let me tell you a little something about how festival coverage works here at TFS. We have one accredited member of the site, we generously receive press and industry vouchers from TIFF for the rest of our staff and if staff happen to purchase their own ticket packages and would like to write about the films they see, we will gladly give them a place to do that.
As this year I am the accredited member of the site, the majority of coverage has fallen to me, and to our Managing Editor, Kristal Cooper, who remains on most of the industry screening lists for the festival because not only is she awesome, but she’s been doing this a long time.
I saw a number of films pre-TIFF, choosing to go to the independent screenings rather than the big studio ones, since the indies are more relevant to what we cover. During the fest I have sadly seen very little, since I keep cancelling screenings to come home and work. (That’s not a complaint. At all.)
So far at TIFF I have seen 22 films. The great ones have been:
Looper (which should go without saying because Rian Johnson is a genius)
I Declare War (which is a brilliant film that doesn’t underestimate kids, and might just be the best movie about bullying ever made)
Bestiaire (haven’t had a public screening yet, but when it does, you should be there because it’s fantastic)
Tai Chi 0 (kung-fu, steampunk, heavy metal music, Miyazaki inspired action flick that has the feel of an RPG I loved this movie so much)
The Secret Disco Revolution (I know this one is getting a bad rap from other critics, but I’m a big fan of the genre and I thought it was fun and charming)
Revolution (yep, an environmental doc I loved, go figure)
My Awkward Sexual Adventure (good, not-so-clean, Canadian comedy)
I have been thoroughly enjoying the Industry panel series, and speaking to filmmakers. On Friday I spoke to Jason Buxton, director of Blackbird, a wonderful Canadian feature about a boy who is arrested for planning a school shooting. It makes an excellent companion piece to I Declare War, since both of these films deal with bullying, class systems and the repercussions of our actions. Both are extremely important films for youth to see, but really, both films are for anyone.
Yesterday I interviewed Stephen Fung, director of Tai Chi 0 yesterday. He was very surprising. Gentle and intelligent, he’s created a film that will play very well in both China and North America. It’s groundbreaking and genre-challenging. You’ll like it. I promise. That interview will be up later today.
We changed our review format this year to make them easier to digest in the on-the-go festival environment. Our team has been doing a brilliant job of plugging out the reviews, and you, dear readers, seem to love them. So far we have produced 85 reviews. That’s more than ever before. Our team has also been out representing on the Scene in their new TFS t-shirts. Danita Steinberg has been live-blogging about her festival line experience. Her passion for this festival is infectious and inspiring. Her star photobombs are hysterical. I hope you’re reading, because this stuff is gold.
One thing you’ll notice here is that I’m not complaining about how much work covering the festival is, or how tired I am. Both of those things are completely true, but they’re just not really relevant. While it should be noted that the press and industry side of the festival is a bit of a slog, and that it’s certainly exhausting, but it is probably the best job in the world. At least for me. This is an undoubtably stupid thing to say publicly, but when I founded this website three years ago, it never occurred to me that we would be able to cover TIFF. I may have been thinking small, or maybe I didn’t realize the idea’s value, or maybe (worse yet) I didn’t understand that how well the Toronto film community and fans would take to the work we do here. So, when we were accredited in our first year, I was elated, confused and a little under-prepared. With the help of a brilliant team, we produced stellar coverage that year, and every year since. I’m really very proud.
But I have to say that when my cabbie asked me yesterday when the festival ended, and I did the math, replying “Sunday”. I giggled slightly hysterically when I realized there are still seven more days of TIFF 2012. And I will love every minute of it. I hope you will, too.
Original artwork by Bennett O’Brian.
Latest posts by Trista DeVries (see all)
- From “sissy” to Brokeback Mountain: a brief history of queer cinema – May 13, 2013
- Review: Blackbird – May 10, 2013
- Review: I Declare War – May 10, 2013