Tuesday, August 26, 2014

TOfilmfest selection process

Last year we did the Maryland Film Festival, and recently one of our friends (film-producer and festival-programmer), who's heading up from Baltimore for TIFF'14, asked:
  • What movies are you looking forward to seeing the most and WHY?
    Is it the director, screening location, time of day, running time, time of week, better popcorn? What goes into everyone's selection process?
It's a great question, because the Toronto International Film Fest is a "no-time-to-eat-or-breathe" festival. It's just not possible to see more than a fraction of the 400+ films screening over 11 days — and it's especially challenging, from a scheduling perspective, because there are often 20+ films screening at the same time!

search by directorsearch by cast membersearch by languagesearch by countrysearch by classificationsearch by ticketsearch by star ratingsearch by theatresearch by date

So, for what it's worth, these are some of the things we consider when selecting our screenings:
  • Director/Actor/Actress – if you've followed and enjoyed the work of a particular director or actor/actress, you'll likely want to see their latest film
  • Countries & Languages – if you want to visit another place in the world, be immersed into another language and culture, cinema makes it easy to travel the world
  • Classification – although some movies may be intended for a younger audience, any film without an official OFRB rating will be restricted to adults 18+
  • Release dates – some may want to be the first to see a new film, but we generally avoid films that have a theatrical release already set for the fall
  • Ticket prices – with advance ticket package prices up 28% this year, and $46 'premium' screenings appearing across many different programs, it's important to consider whether your choices are likely to be worth the expense
  • Star-rated reviews – many films that have screened previously have been reviewed by critics, so it's wise to check (although, it's possible that whatever earned a film a rave-review, may cause you to avoid it; likewise a damning review might cite something that compels you to want to see it for yourself)
  • Location – certainly some cinemas are better than others, but it's not a factor for us (we still believe it's better to watch a great film in vintage-seats, than some movie you'll soon forget, in comfortable/modern ones)
  • Timing – it's definitely advisable to plan most of your screenings within a reasonable walking radius, and give yourself ample time to get in the line, for the next film
Also, you may be interested to browse films by program:
  • GALA Gala-premieres, red-carpets, movie-stars
    SP Special Presentations, high-profile premieres
  • MAST Masters, art-house filmmakers
    MAV Conversations with film Mavericks
  • CWC Contemporary World Cinema
    CWS Contemporary World Speakers
  • CTC City To City: Seoul, South Korea
  • DISC Discover new directors
  • VAN Vanguard cinema, leading-edge
  • WL Wavelengths: Avant-garde cinema
  • DOC Documentaries
  • SCC Short-films Canada
    SCI Short-films International
  • KID Kid-friendly family films
  • MM Midnight Madness, action/horror/schlock/fantasy
  • SE FREE: Special events
    CTQ FREE: Cinematheque classics
    FUT FREE: Future Projections, cinematic art
Btw, if you want to filter, sort, and search all the feature-films from your smart-phone, try TIFFwidget — it's a mobile-browser friendly version of our full website. Also, there's a PDF of the 2014 official film schedule, in case you can't pick one up.
So, what's on our list?
Our next post will highlight our picks for TIFF'14...  :-)
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