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Toronto International Film Festival 2019

The annual Toronto International Film Festival was held September 5 to 15, 2019 in Toronto, Ontario. According to TIFF, it is the “leading public film festival in the world, screening more than 300 films from 60+ countries every September. Our programmers have earned a reputation for excellence, and a diverse array of films is shown: Hollywood galas, complete with red carpet glamour; the best in international cinema, the latest homegrown comedies… and everything in between.”  The TIFF Industry Conference is a seven-day professional development conference for delegates and focuses on the financing and producing, marketing, distribution, screenwriting and storytelling of films.  Many deals are done at TIFF.

The film festival is organized into the following programs:

Gala Presentations: Movie stars. Red carpet premieres. Major audience interest.

Masters:  The latest from the world’s most influential art house filmmakers.

Special Presentations:  High-profile premieres and the world’s leading filmmakers.

Mavericks:  Engaging on-stage conversations with leaders in the film industry and beyond.

Discovery:  Directors to watch. The future of world cinema.

TIFF Docs:  Candid and unscripted: the best non-fiction cinema from around the world.

Contemporary World Cinema:  Compelling stories, global perspectives.

Contemporary World Speakers:  Watch, experience, and participate in post-screening discussions with film directors and subject experts

Wavelengths:  Daring, visionary and autonomous voices. Films that expand our notions of cinema.

TIFF Kids:  Family films from around the world: entertaining and illuminating.

City to City:  Bringing international cities to Toronto audiences. A snapshot of where’s hot right now.

Short Cuts Canada:  The best short films from emerging and established Canadian filmmakers.

TIFF Cinematheque:  Curated gems from the history of Canadian and international cinema.

Future Projections: Taking the moving image from the cinema to the gallery — and beyond.

Vanguard:  Provocative, sexy… possibly dangerous. This is what’s next.

Midnight Madness:  The wild side: midnight screenings of the best in action, horror, shock and fantasy cinema.

Nextwave:  For the next generation of movie lovers: selections approved by our youth-driven TIFF Next Wave Committee.

Manifesto:  Culture. Ideas. Action. Screenings supported by Manifesto Community Projects

Special Event: Onstage and onscreen: exclusive engagements and celebrated guests.

Media Covers Hollywood Films at the Expense of Indie Films?

The Toronto International Film Festival has drawn in over 4000 attendees from around the world that want to be a part of this ten-day event.  High profile stars such as Meryl Streep, Jennifer Lopez, Nicole Kidman,  Riz Ahmed, Christian Bale, Antonio Banderas, Javier Bardem, Annette Bening, Jessica Biel, Sterling K. Brown, Nicolas Cage, Neve Campbell, Daniel Craig, Russell Crowe, Matt Damon, Jamie Foxx, Tom Hanks, Scarlett Johansson, Jamie Lee Curtis, Eddie Murphy, Gary Oldman and Ellen Page are just a few of the hundreds of actors at TIFF that tend to generate buzz and seem to take all of media’s attention at the expense of good indie actors and films.  As a result of extensive media coverage, for most fans, the arrival of A-List celebrities is the highlight of the Toronto International Film Festival. Stars such as those listed above have made their red carpet appearances at this year’s festival and drew large crowds to the streets just to catch a glimpse or snap a picture of their favourite Hollywood actor.

TIFF Parties and Receptions:

What would the Toronto International Film Festival be without its non-stop calendar of parties, networking, and other industry events! From experimental pop-ups to extravagant cast parties that last until the early morning hours, the streets of downtown Toronto was a flurry of receptions and celebrations. Here is a review of a few of the events that TorontoArtsandEvents attended during this year’s film festival:

The CFC Annual BBQ Fundraiser:

Nearly 2,000 people attended the Annual Canadian Film Centre’s BBQ on Sunday, September 8th, 2019. It was a cloudy day for this elegant garden party. Many of the guests brought their families, children, and pets to the grounds of the Canadian Film Centre. Notable guests in attendance included TIFF 2018 Rising Stars CBC Actors Devery Jacobs; Slaight Family Music Lab alumni Liam Russell, Matthew O’Halloran and Adaline; Slaight Family Music Lab alumnus Ben Fox; and CBC Actors Conservatory alumna Emily Piggford among other actors and film makers.

Speeches were elegantly delivered by Christina Jennings (Chair, CFC Board of Directors; CEO, Shaftesbury), followed by Slawko Klymkiw (CEO, CFC), Audrey Gardiner (Director of Content Acquisition, Netflix), and Norman Jewison (Founder, CFC).

The Centre celebrated the world premiere of CFC productions MEASURE and FLOOD which were selected for TIFF’s Short Cuts Program, alongside features Easy Land and Tammy’s Always Dying, which were developed at the CFC:

There was an abundance of different food and beverage vendors at the party which included DMC – Official Caterer of the VIP Pre-Reception, Pizzaville, Holy Chuck, EDO, Gelato Fresco, Dolce Moda, Holy Cannoli, Lollicakes, 10tation, Schinoussa Super Foods and Real Jerk and The Mighty Cob. Another highlight of the party was the virtual reality headset demonstration held inside the greenhouse, which allowed eager guests to play campfire games or battle horror-movie villains. Canadian musical guests the Slaight Foundation alumni Theo Tams and Rebecca Everett performed during the party.

Celebrate Ontario:

Ontario Creates, mandated to growth and investment in Ontario’s publishing, film and television, music and digital industries, celebrated 9 Ontario Creates Fund-supported features by Ontario Filmmakers at #TIFF19:  AMERICAN WOMAN, CASTLE IN THE GROUND, CLIFTON HILL, GUEST OF HONOUR, ONCE WERE BROTHERS: ROBBIE ROBERTSON AND THE BAND, SWEETNESS IN THE BELLY , TAMMY’S ALWAYS DYING, THE REST OF US, THE SONG OF NAMES, THIS IS NOT A MOVIE #ONcreates. This year’s event was held at the luxurious Carlu in Toronto and attracted Ontario Actors, Directors and producers as well as government officials such as the Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport.  This is Not a Movie profiles the brilliant reporting of foreign correspondent-author Robert Fisk – it was directed by Yung Chang and produced by Anita Lee.

ONCE WERE BROTHERS: ROBBIE ROBERTSON AND THE BAND opened TIFF 2019 – it marks the first time that a documentary opened TIFF.

That’s a Wrap

Another season of TIFF has come to a successful end. The warm Toronto fall weather allowed enjoyment of this ten-day-long celebration of film and filmmakers from around the world.  Check back here for next year’s festival.

© 2019 Torontoartsandevents All Rights Reserved

Slawko Klymkiw (CEO, CFC),
Christina Jennings (Chair, CFC Board of Directors; CEO, Shaftesbury)
Audrey Gardiner (Director of Content Acquisition, Netflix)
Crowd at CFC BBQ

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