I had the pleasure of photographing the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) in September 2010. This year’s festival was bigger and more monumental than those of years past because not only was it TIFF’s usual buzz, premiering the soon to be top films of the year, but also the opening of their new headquarters, the TIFF Bell Lightbox. I was out shooting the block party that TIFF threw to commemorate the opening with three-layer cake, bandstand and street vendors to boot. This was the party that Toronto threw for the love of film, for the love of the city, for the love of the arts.
And it was a great party!
There were Canadian bands to kick off the musical lineup with Radio Radio and Fefe Dobson but the real crowd showed up for the “secret” musical guest, K’naan who rocked the Canadian audience with his world cup theme song among others. He got even the conservative Toronto crowd dancing, arm-waving and chanting the chorus in reply. There was also facepainting for the kids, local restuarants peddling their wares and orange cupcakes for the crowd.
As soon as the ribbon was officially cut, with all the press cameras abounding, the red carpet was rolled out for the stars of Trigger directed by Bruce MacDonald to kick off TIFF with true Canadian talent. Atom Egoyan and Don McKellar also in attendance (and for those that don’t know they are Canadian cinematic royalty.) Sarah Polley shone as one of the brightest acting/directing stars out of Canada and Bruce MacDonald looked the picture of paternal pride showcasing not only his movie but his young daughter on the red carpet.
I also had the opportunity to shoot the producers of an Australian film premiering at the Festival. The film was Blame, directed by Michael John Henry. It was a film that was ten years in the making which is now hoped to get picked up for distribution, not an unusual occurance at TIFF, by the hopeful filmmaker and team. The photo got published in the magazine Inside Film from Australia which talked about the husband and wife producing duo. For more info: www.blamefilm.com
From going to the premiers, meeting the stars and directors that I admire, it was a whirlwind experience which I can only say made me fall in love with film all over again. I hope to see the whole gang for TIFF 2011.