Friday, March 14, 2008

Film Fest Friday - Toronto International Film Fest

Some of you will be shocked that I'm going to discuss the Toronto International Film Festival, or TIFF, as the Torontonians like to call it. It's one of the very prestigious and publicly attended festivals of the year and screens between 300-400 films on 23 different screens over 10 days. They are currently accepting submissions - you can find the form at this link - and the festival is scheduled for this September 4 - 13. Here's a link to their homepage.

TIFF is a big festival, one of the biggest of the year. Variety magazine said that TIFF is "second only to Cannes in terms of high-profile pics, stars and market activity". Roger Ebert said, "although Cannes is still larger, Toronto is more useful and more important." They call it the premier festival in North America and it's where the Oscar race starts... well, I say, "take your artsy films and pound them up your artsy ass" because all of that is a whole lot of things that I couldn't give a rats about. So, why am I talking about it? I'm talking about it because of the TIFF Midnight Madness films.

If you're an indie horror filmmaker, I don't think this is the festival to enter your film in. Last year's midnight madness featured films from George Romero, Dario Argento and Takaski Miike... and they only screened ten films, so you're going to have to be a cut above the average indie horror. Then again, you never know... submit away. Who am I to judge? My point is, whether or not you enter a film, this is a festival to come to and see the next wave or horror coming out and, usually, the filmmakers are in attendance. It's just, simply, a great place to watch some good horror films and meet some like minded people at one of the biggest festivals of the year.

Having said all that, TIFF is getting a lot of criticism of late, much like Sundance, due to the fact that it's become too "Hollywood". ...and if you're bothered by all that, just wait a month, because The Toronto After Dark Film Festival hits in October and that's a real indie horror festival.

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