TIFF 2018: My Love Of The Players And Not The Game

Posted in Blog, Film Festivals, Movies, Theatrical, TIFF '18 by - September 05, 2018
TIFF 2018: My Love Of The Players And Not The Game

In 2012 I visited Canada for the first time.

I came to Canada, Toronto specifically, to attend and cover the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF). It was an experience that to this day I cherish. I have been lucky enough to be able to repeat this act a couple more times since then.

Last year I didn’t find time to cover much of the TIFFing, mainly because I was busy on the other side of Ontario beginning my studies in a topic that I won’t bore you with. My writing and all other online film discussion activities took a dip. Mostly for the better. However, with TIFF arriving again later this week my mind came back to this moment in my life.

So for those of you following along yes I’m an still in Canada. I came to Canada with the hopes of making it a new home for myself and somehow in the silliest of moments that idea spurred on by attending a film festival. This is insane I know. For some of you reading this you’ve attended dozens on your local areas and maybe a few in far away lands, but never have you thought to yourself to be so please with your experience that years on you keep thinking “I want to move there”.

That is correct, after five years of visiting the nation of Canada for the first I decided to come here and study something I loved and with the hope of making my stay in this country permanent. While that path is yet to be fully realised it continues to be in progress, and without fail I’ve planned to catch a few films this year.

While my editor was hoping this letter would be about my love for the festival and all of it’s fun to be had I don’t really know how to write about that. I’ve talked ad nauseum about my love for film over the last ten years and nothing I’ve done in that time I regret. That includes the many hours spent chasing down screenings at the three TIFFs I’ve attended. However, I remember having a recent conversation with a friend who (since the season is here) asked me “are you doing the festival” and I responded “not really” with my many reasons why and he was not planning on doing anything either. We got to talking about all of these ancillary reasons why it doesn’t make sense this year. Then I said something that I feel is the most important draw for the festival for me, “It’s the people not the films.”

Let me clarify. I don’t mean Gael Garcia Bernal, Matthew McConaughey or even Juliette Binoche. I don’t even mean Cameron Bailey or Thom Powers. I mean you all. Those of you reading and writing every day and making those early coffee runs with me and late bar meetups. Experiencing the festival with you all is what I love about this festival. The great thing about this is that I know it isn’t specific to this festival, this is something you can have at any festival. I know because it’s something I was missing during the years I lived in Trinidad & Tobago when every year they held their annual festival and I would go and see a handful or more films that on the outside interested me but I never had that comradery that was created here by the Torontonian film loving community. I’m sure that TIFF itself at some point in the years of it’s running has helped to create and foster that community but it is secondary to the thing that we’re being sold upfront (i.e. the movies).

So, before you sit down to start clapping at bad ads tempo, or making pirate noises (do people still do that?) remember it’s the people (i.e. the audience, the bloggers, the press, the industry, the fans) that make the festival what it is. If it weren’t for them it would just be a bunch of people paying for an overpriced movie ticket in hopes of a glimpse of a celebrity, and no matter how hard some people may try, it’s an experience you just can’t recreate on Netflix.

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