Monday, September 21, 2009

So many thanks to so many people!

We have so many people to thank for all the help, advice, encouragement, and support we've received this year!

Last year (2008), while standing in-line to pick-up our ticket order form, we were fortunate to meet someone from the TBDC, who suggested we contact MouthMedia to revise our website design. They provided us with a new logo, business cards, and a much needed update to the look & feel of (originally written in 2005).

Their efforts helped us increase the number of daily visitors to our website by 3-4 times, for the fourth consecutive year! This attracted the support of a couple local venues and suppliers, and meant we could give something back to those who visited us!

So a very sincere thank you to all those who visited, came out to our events, or offered their support!

Hope to see you all again next year!

PS. we wanted to personally thank all those who made this year our biggest/best yet: Richard + Jason, Greg, Erik, Lara, Sean + Vince, Adam, Chris, Elton + Dave, Melissa, Cathy, Kelly + Andy, Jamie, Sudha + Peter + Jennifer, Jonathan, Daniella + Cameron, Colin, Nicole + Pearl + Ahmad, John, Blaine, Oliver, Niv, Philip + Richard, Ian, Trevor, Vivian + Jeff, James, Richard, Ray, Eric + Chris, Nikki, Julie, Brandon, Megan, Rachel + everyone who emailed/Twittered/blogged/linked to us!

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Friday, September 18, 2009

Sat.19.Sep: After-fest event tonight, you're invited!

Did you pay for your own film festival tickets?
Did you stand in-line to pick-up/exchange/redeem those tickets?
Are you tired of reading about "insider" parties that exclude you?

You are invited to an after-fest party!

A party for the rest of us... who aren't industry/VIP/celebrities — just fans of the biggest public film festival in the world!
(...and don't fans deserve a red-carpet/velvet-rope event, too? ;-)

So tonight, Saturday September 19th, after...
join us at...

Just Desserts
555 Yonge Street at Wellesley
Martini lounge/bar + dessert cafe
  • $6 pints (20 oz.) of Sleeman Cream Ale, Blanche de Chambly, Okanagan Springs 1516 Bavarian Lager, or Sapporo - keep the glass, compliments of The Sleeman brewery!
  • $7 martinis (2 oz.) in six varieties: Absolut vodka martini, Cosmopolitan, Mangolicious, Orange reality, Chocolate pear, and Sabbsitini + a complimentary glass from Absolut vodka!
  • $8 wines by-the-glass from Wyndham Estate — featuring highly-rated Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon from Australia
...but most of all, come out to grab a bite, raise a glass, and celebrate the films and film-makers of the 2009 Toronto International Film Festival!

We'd love to see you there...
Drop by if you can!

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Thursday, September 17, 2009

Sat. Sept. 19: Celebrate closing-night with a martini!

We're very pleased to announce that Absolut has joined us in raising a glass to the film festival, the fest fans, and all the films — as well, all those who visited this year!

So this Saturday, Sept.19th at 10pm, join us at...
...for $7 (2 oz.) martini specials!
    • Absolut vodka martini
    • Cosmopolitan
    • Mangolicious
    • Orange reality
    • Chocolate pear
    • Sabbsitini
...with a complimentary glass from Absolut vodka!

Hope you can join us!

PS. no cover charge, and everyone is welcome!

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Sat. Sept. 19: Raise a glass after the wrap-up!

After the official closing night party at Yonge-Dundas Square, drop by...

Just Desserts lounge/bar/cafe
555 Yonge Street at Wellesley

...and join us about 10pm — with Wyndham Estate — to raise a glass to the fest, fans, and films!

Featured wines by the glass — join us if you can, everyone is welcome!


  • no cover charge...
  • no VIP guest list...
  • no line-up...

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Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Sat. Sept. 19: Raise a pint on closing night!

This Saturday, September 19th at 10pm, Sleeman will be joining us to raise a glass to the film festival, all the fest fans and films — and all those who visited this year!

So, after the official wrap-party at Yonge-Dundas Square (9pm, FREE/no tickets), and the People's Choice screening (FREE tickets at 7pm, Elgin Theatre),
join us at...
for a pint (20 oz.) of...
    • Sleeman Cream Ale
    • Blanche de Chambly
    • Okanagan Springs 1516 Bavarian Lager
    • Sapporo
...and keep the glass, compliments of The Sleeman brewery!

Hope you can join us!

PS. There's no cover charge, and everyone is welcome!

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Monday, September 14, 2009

Sat. Sept. 19: Cheers to the fest, fans and films!

This Saturday, September 19th at 10pm, we'll be raising a glass to the film festival, the fest fans, the films... — and all those who visited this year! — so join us, if you can!

Just Desserts, 555 Yonge Street at Wellesley
Martini lounge/bar + dessert café
There's no cover charge, and everyone is welcome!

Hope to see you there,

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Friday, September 11, 2009

Sat. Sept. 19: After the official wrap-party at Yonge-Dundas Square...

On Saturday, September 19th — after the official wrap-party at Yonge-Dundas Square (FREE), and the People's Choice Award Winner screening (also FREE) — we're planning to meet-up with other film-fest fans at a 'dessert bar & martini lounge.' So if you don't have a Midnight Madness movie on closing night, and want to join us, just visit this blog for more details soon!

Here are some snapshots of the venue...

More details to be posted here, at — but it'll be FREE (no-cover), there will be drink specials, and food, and everyone is invited! (– no celebs expected, just film-fest fans!)

Hope to see you there!

PS. just fyi, there's also a FREE Surprise Screening tomorrow... Saturday, September 12, 6pm-7:40pm. Tickets will be distributed on a first-come/first served basis 2 hours before the screening, at 4pm.

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Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Drop by 225 Queen West, during the fest...

For the ten days of the film fest,

will be offering daily specials...
  • Monday — 45 cent wings
  • Tuesday — half-price appetizers
  • Wednesday — 45 cent wings
  • Thursday — steak + fries for $12.99 get 2nd one for 1 cent!
  • Friday — half-price fish & chips
  • Saturday — $4 burger + fries
  • Sunday — $9.99 prime rib dinner
and a weekend brunch special...
  • buy any brunch item, and get the 2nd one for 1 cent, from 10am-3pm (weekend only)
plus enjoy...
  • Steam Whistle premium lager for $4 (tax incl.)
So if you're at the box-office, or traveling between the Scotiabank and the AMC Yonge-Dundas, drop by for a bite or a beer!


PS. if you've not had a chance to drop by yet, here are a couple snapshots...

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Monday, September 7, 2009

City to City/Tel Aviv protest clarified

June 23rd, the Toronto International Film Festival announced the launch of the City to City: Tel Aviv.

August 27th, John Greyson announced the withdrawal of his film COVERED from the festival, in protest against the City-to-City Spotlight on Tel Aviv.

August 28th, the co-director of the festival, Cameron Bailey responded to the film's withdrawal.

August 31st, in a review of A HISTORY OF ISRAELI CINEMA, Michael Guillen provided an examination of the issue.

September 2nd, The Toronto Declaration: No Celebration of Occupation was published. (As noted in the Toronto Star, it was endorsed by more than 60 people, including prominent members of the Jewish community such as author/activist Naomi Klein, Judy Rebick, and Israel filmmaker Udi Aloni.)

TOfilmfest contacted Cameron Bailey, co-director of the festival, because we felt that his statement —
"John writes that his protest isn’t against the films or filmmakers we have chosen, but against the spotlight itself. By that reasoning, no films programmed within this series would have met his approval, no matter what they contained."
— did not properly represent John Greyson's position.

We greatly appreciate that Mr. Bailey took the time to reply to us, and took our point, but he reiterated "that any films in a series called City to City: Tel Aviv would have met the same reaction." [Emphasis on any provided by Mr. Bailey.]

We disagreed. So, TOfilmfest contacted Mr. Greyson to finally clarify the matter.

Q: If 5 of the 10 films in the program were Palestinian/Arab film-makers, would you have had any objections to the City To City program on Tel Aviv?

A: "I hesitate to play the numbers/percentage game — but as I've said, there could have been a spotlight on Tel Aviv, featuring significant and diverse Palestinian voices, that truly captured the complexity of this very contested city."
Q: Do I have this correct? — if the festival canceled the City To City spotlight on Tel Aviv, and dispersed those same 10 films into other programs, you would have no objection to any of those films?

A: "Exactly — the point of the protest is the spotlight, not the films."

We hope that sharing this information will lead to a better understanding of the positions on either side of the issue — and we very much look forward to the "public forum that will bring leading filmmakers and thinkers from Tel Aviv and Toronto into debate" that was announced in the original press release for the program.


PS. here's a thoughtful article by Moti Rieber – rabbi, writer, activist...

PPS. He first thought the protest was 'destructive grandstanding', but now Roger Ebert has changed his mind, and now says that the festival "should never have agreed to be used like this."

PPPS. John Greyson has made his film COVERED available online.

Object not playable

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Sunday, September 6, 2009

Peter Howell's CHASING THE BUZZ '09

We're very happy to be invited by Peter Howell, movie critic for the Toronto Star, to be part of his 9th annual Chasing the Buzz poll — a panel of 25 critics/programmers/film-buffs name the 3 films they are most looking forward to.

Here are our top 3 picks:
  1. Antichrist: "See the film that won the first anti-award from Cannes' ecumenical jury Thursday night at 9pm, then talk to director Lars von Trier, via video conference from Denmark, Friday morning at 9am."

  2. Enter the Void: "Gaspar Noé, the stylish and audacious director of Seul Contre Tous and Irréversible, brings a cinematic trip about a low-level drug dealer and his sister... which garnered very mixed reviews."

  3. The Hole: "Kudos to Colin Geddes for bringing the festival's first 3-D presentation with Joe Dante's new work, shot in Canada using Paradise FX — the same technology used earlier this year in the remake of the Canadian slasher, My Bloody Valentine."
Here is the complete list of all 56 of the most anticipated movies of the festival:
  1. My Son, My Son, What Have Ye Done (4 votes)
  2. Up in the Air (4 votes)

  3. Antichrist (3 votes; our pick)
  4. Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans (3 votes)
  5. Leslie, My Name is Evil (3 votes)
  6. The Road (3 votes)

  7. Bright Star (2 votes)
  8. Hadewijch (2 votes)
  9. Life During Wartime (2 votes)
  10. A Serious Man (2 votes)
  11. Whip It (2 votes)

  12. Agora
  13. The Art of the Steal
  14. Baarìa
  15. BAND
  16. Beautiful Kate
  17. Bran Nue Dae
  18. Broken Embraces
  19. Capitalism: A Love Story
  20. Chloe
  21. Collapse
  22. The Disappearance of Alice Creed
  23. Enter the Void (our pick)
  24. Excited
  25. Face
  26. The Hole (our pick)
  27. How to Fold a Flag
  28. Hugh Hefner: Playboy, Activist and Rebel
  29. The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus
  30. The Informant!
  31. The Invention of Lying
  32. Last Ride
  33. Leaves of Grass
  34. Let Each One Go Where They May
  35. Mao's Last Dancer
  36. The Men Who Stare at Goats
  37. Moloch Tropical
  38. The Most Dangerous Man in America
  39. Mother and Child
  40. Mr. Nobody
  41. Ondine
  42. Police, Adjective
  43. Precious: Based on the Novel "Push" by Sapphire
  44. Road, Movie
  45. Same Same but Different
  46. Symbol
  47. The Time That Remains
  48. To Die Like a Man
  49. A Town Called Panic
  50. Trash Humpers
  51. The Trotsky
  52. Turtle: The Incredible Journey
  53. Valhalla Rising
  54. The Vintner's Luck
  55. White Material
  56. Women Without Men

PS. btw, here are the 25 contributors:
  1. Steve Almond,
  2. Gail Anthony, film buff/executive assistant
  3. Barry Avrich, filmmaker and ad executive
  4. Cameron Bailey, TIFF co-director
  5. Christopher Bales, Crunchy Squirrel Goes to Toronto
  6. James Berardinelli,
  7. Noah Cowan, Bell Lightbox
  8. — that's us! ;-)
  9. Gabrielle Free, CTV
  10. Alex Ganetakos, TV writer/producer
  11. Andréa Grau, TIFF media coordinator
  12. Piers Handling, TIFF director and CEO
  13. Charles Johnston, writer, film buff
  14. Robert Koehler, Variety /CinemaScope
  15. Eric Kohn, IndieWIRE /TheWrap
  16. Carla MacDonald, Our Lady of Perpetual Hell
  17. Michèle Maheux, TIFF managing director
  18. David Poland, MCN
  19. B. Ruby Rich, BRubyRich
  20. James Rocchi, RocchiReport
  21. Kristopher Tapley, In Contention
  22. Anne Thompson, ThompsonOnHollywood
  23. Jeffrey Wells, Hollywood Elsewhere
  24. Susan Wloszczyna, USA Today
  25. Ray Yick, TIFFReviews
PPS. if you're curious about previous picks, you can also read Peter Howell's TIFF's must-see films from 2008, and TIFF '07: The Buzz from two years ago...

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Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Thurs. Sept. 3rd: Pick up tickets + join us for brunch/lunch/dinner!

Advanced ticket packages, will be available for pick up on Thursday, September 3rd at the film festival box-office (Nathan Phillips Square/City Hall).
Once you've got your tickets, head over to join other film festival fans at:
  • The Original Motorcycle Café
    225 Queen Street West, just west of University Ave
    just a couple blocks from the festival box-office/Nathan Phillips Square
  • anytime after 10am
for brunch...
  • "2 for 1" brunch special (open at 10am)

or for lunch/dinner...
  • $4 burger + fries (all-day)
  • "2 for 1" steak + fries (7 oz. striploin, after 5pm)
plus enjoy...
  • Steam Whistle premium lager for $4 (tax incl.)
See you all there!

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