Saturday, July 31, 2010

Midnight Madness with Colin Geddes

Last year, Midnight Madness programmer Colin Geddes announced his complete 2009 line-up via Twitter — before the official press release was posted.

Yesterday, Colin announced (via Twitter) that this year's program announcement might be delayed:
"Now bad news is the Midnight Madness press release might be delayed. Bummed, bc I am DYING to talk about my picks! Stay tuned!"
Today, he confirmed:
"Delayed. Bummed but its strategic..."
Well, while we are waiting... we put together a linked-list of Colin's past picks as Midnight Madness programmer — enjoy the look back... :-)
This list comes from the source — Colin's own history of the midnight madness programme.

Pick the best of the fest!

Labels: ,

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Notes from yesterday's press conference

Besides the announcement of Galas and Special Presentations yesterday, the festival's directors mentioned some other points of interest...

Piers Handling, Director and CEO:
  • three cinemas in the new Lightbox center will be in use 'for sure' during the festival:
    • two cinemas will host art installations
      • 8½ Screens (Atom Egoyan)
      • E-100 (James Andean & François Xavier Saint-Pierre),
    • the largest cinema, with a capacity of 550, 'will definitely be used'
  • free repeat screening of the audience award-winning film Sunday, Sept. 19th
  • The Essential 100 exhibition opens Sunday, Sept.12 and will continue until the end of 2010
  • the Tim Burton showcase will run from 'late' Nov [18th] to April

Cameron Bailey, Co-Director:
  • the one day extension of the film festival will host repeat screenings; it is expected to be a permanent addition
  • a new TIFF for Free program, featuring films from the festival's past – for example,
    – as 35mm presentations, inside Lightbox, during the festival; tickets will be available "first come first served... we'll be announcing the program, and once you know the films that you want to see... get there early"
  • no free Yonge-Dundas screenings — "because this is the year we open our building, we've decided to focus our free programming in TIFF Bell Lightbox"
Pick the best of the fest!

Labels: , ,

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

2010 Galas and Special Presentations announced

The film festival hosted it's first major press conference this morning at the Hyatt Regency — located right beside Lightbox. There were 15 Galas and 35 Special Presentations announced.

These films were already on our website...
These are the new films announced today...These new films join the previously announced opening night gala of Score: A Hockey Musical Michael McGowan.

Also revealed...
Still not specifically acknowledged by the festival yet, are...
Pick the best of the fest!

Labels: , , , ,

Monday, July 26, 2010

Lightbox developments

The film festival announced earlier this spring that the new Lightbox building will open its doors to the public on September 12, 2010 — here's a quick look back on its development...
  • Building
    • 1st level (over-height)
    • 2nd level (over-height)
      • Oliver & Bonacini’s Luma, an upscale/fine-dining restaurant, including the Blackberry Lounge bar
      • theatre #1 (capacity 550 w/balcony & 2 seat-boxes; 3-D + 70mm projection)
      • theatre #2 (capacity 350)
      • theatre #3 (capacity 250 w/piano for silent-film presentations)
      • green room
    • 3rd level (over-height; "learning floor")
      • master control room
      • theatre #4 (capacity 150)
      • theatre #5 (capacity 80; digital projection only; retractable seats)
      • Bell Blue Room lounge (cafe/bar for TIFF members)
      • 3 learning studios/education facilities
    • 4th level
      • reception + lounge
      • Canadian Film Gallery (opens TIFF@35; later Mary Pickford Collection)
      • Film Reference Library
      • Brian Linehan Foundation Research Room
      • study area, archives
    • 5th level
      • work areas, meeting rooms, offices
      • boardroom
      • internal screening room/theatre
    • 6th level (split/outdoors)
[Four of five cinemas have been built as a “box within a box”, isolating them acoustically from any outside noise.]

Pick the best of the fest!

PS. The UrbanToronto forum has covered the construction from the beginning... (with pictures)

PPS. Update: A tour of Lightbox + Lightbox tour, part 2! :-)

Labels: , , , , ,

Film fest fund raising and ticket prices

We have followed the development of the film festival's new Lightbox headquarters, almost since it's inception (feasibility study in 2002; announced as 'Festival Centre' in 2003).

Since then, the film-festival has been fund-raising towards their goal of $196 million. As of June 15th, 2010:
  • they have raised $171 million – 87% – with $25 million remaining:

    $13 million capital / building budget

    $8 million operation funding

    $4 million in endowments (expected to be raised after the film festival)
There are a number of initiatives underway to raise these remaining amounts:
  • naming rights to various portions of the Lightbox building,
  • extended marketing partnerships with major contributors,
  • and advance ticketing privileges for individual donors.
As well, the festival has been revising it's criteria for 'premium' screenings:
  • originally called 'gala' screenings, and only at Roy Thomson Hall,
  • later, including 'Visa screening room' (Elgin theatre) presentations,
  • and now recently extended, to any venue with a 'red carpet' premiere.
Some have applauded the move, for more red carpet screenings — allowing smaller films to attract more attention from the media — but, there has been backlash; and last year voices were raised. Perhaps Roger Ebert put it best: "The festival is what you make it."

Also, new ticket prices have been announced for 2010:
  • $24.75 — regular, single ticket order ($19.69 + HST + bldg fee + order fee)
  • $45.75 — 'premium', single ticket order ($38.27 + HST + bldg fee + order fee)
  • $17.00 — children, single ticket order ($12.83 + HST + bldg fee + order fee; 12 years and under, "Sprockets Family Zone" only)
Recently, The Toronto Star featured the film festival's new advertising creative for 2010:

What will you see?
Indeed, helping you pick the best of the fest – whatever your budget – is what we're all about! ;-)

Pick the best of the fest,

Labels: , , ,

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Films announced for the 2010 Toronto International Film Festival

Although there's only one film officially announced for the 2010 Toronto International Film Festival so far — a number of other films have been announced by other sources as accepted entries, including:
  • Brighton RockRowan Joffe (Graham Greene novel)
  • The DebtJohn Madden (remake of "The Debt", 2007)
  • Dhobi GhatKiran Rao (starring husband Aamir Khan)
  • The King's SpeechTom Hooper (Colin Firth and Geoffrey Rush)
  • L.A. ZombieBruce La Bruce (recently banned in Australia!)
  • MiralJulian Schnabel ("The Diving Bell and the Butterfly")
  • TrustDavid Schwimmer (with Clive Owen and Catherine Keener)
  • Vanishing on 7th StreetBrad Anderson ("The Machinist")
Pick the best of the fest!

Labels: ,

2010 Future Projections announced

2010 Toronto International Film Festival announcements

The 35th Toronto International Film Festival runs from Thursday, September 9th to Sunday the 19th this year — that's 11 days, instead of the usual 10... :-)

So what's screening at this year's fest?

Well, it's been an unusually quiet summer —by this time last year, we had over 117 films in our database — this year, only one film has been officially confirmed: the opening film... But, according to an early report by Martin Knelman of The Toronto Star,
will screen on Sunday, September 12th... — both films should be gala presentations at Roy Thompson Hall. Both films should be celebrity affairs, too — check out the cast & cameos of Score: A Hockey Musical (Olivia Newton-John, Marc Jordan, Nelly Furtado), or the Hollywood heavy-weights in Barney's Version (Dustin Hoffman, Paul Giamatti, Minnie Driver).

Advance ticket packages are on-sale now...
  • Online (Visa only)
  • By Phone, Mon-Fri/10am-7pm
    at 416-968-3456 or 877-968-3456
  • At 2 Carlton St, West Mezzanine level, Mon – Fri, 10am-7pm, until Fri.20.Aug
    (the new festival box-office opens at 363 King St West, on Tue.24.Aug)
Pick the best of the fest!


Labels: , , , ,

New 2010 TOfilmfest website

In 2008 — while standing in-line to pick-up our ticket order forms — we had the good fortune to meet someone from the TBDC, who suggested we contact MouthMedia to revise our website. They provided us with new logos, business cards, and a much needed update for the 2009 TOfilmfest site.

This year, we've tried to optimize the new 2010 TOfilmfest website for smaller displays — to better serve the tiny screens of web-enabled smart-phones.

In addition to being more compact visually, we've also tried to eliminate additional 'scroll-bars' — you should be able to show film details within the film list, without the need to scroll within the those details.

We hope you like the new website design — while it's not as spacious as last year's, it should be more functional for mobile browsers — though please let us know if you have any difficulties viewing the site! :-)

Pick the best of the fest!

We've also moved to a new data center at 151 Front St (not far from the film fest's new Lightbox centre... ;-) — we hope our pages load a little faster this year... 8-)

Labels: ,