It’s strange because I’m now on my second school-less September, but having the Toronto Film Festival as this permanent (seemingly, at least) stamp on my annual calendar still gives me that feeling like I’m going back to school. My festival circuit slows down considerably over the summer months, and I usually revert to a world completely outside of it to recharge. But then TIFF comes along and I’m pushed back into it in the context of a festivalized version of my hometown.
There’s no other annual event I have such a lengthy history with. For the past eight years, I’ve enjoyed its magic every September. The first few years as a festivalgoer, when I initially moved to this city in my late teens. Then later with my first foray into film journalism world, reviewing films for a local magazine, and eventually as indieWIRE‘s intern, which obviously was a pretty lucky break considering that I’m now entering my fourth festival with the iW team. There was even one summer in between when I actually worked for the festival itself – helping hammer out the program guide.
So it’s always a strange feeling when it comes time to do it all over again. What once felt like this incredible opportunity to see this endless variety of films I’d had essentially no access to growing up; and later marked an intensely exciting window into this world I know am four years-used to; is now this bizarre mix of things – one part homecoming; one part scary collision of social worlds that never meet under any other circumstances; and one part remaining that filmgoers dream. I might now have significantly more access than I did when my only outlet was a one-screen movie theater and a shitty video store, but there’s a still magic to the variety offered in Toronto that I honestly feel is unparalleled anywhere else.
Sentimental ramblings aside, I’m not quite sure where this blog will figure into my ten days at the festival. It’s going to be an insanely busy time, and personal ranting kinda falls low on the priority list (I intended a “30 I Want To See” type deal today, but am lucky I could even crank this out). But I’m sure I’ll run into some too-inappropriate-for-indieWIRE experiences I’ll have to find an outlet for somewhere. In the meantime, here’s 41 entries related to Torontos past you can parooze if you’re really desperate and unsatisfied with the 10,000 other blogs covering it more subtantially.