I just arrived in Toronto, and I’m kick-starting my coverage with two Variety business stories, surveying the distribution scene: One, titled “Open Season,” which focuses on indie distribs looking for opportunities from the recession’s fallout, and another “Buyers playing waiting game reap rewards,” on ways in which domestic distribs are looking beyond the festival circuit for acquistions. (If these stories are hidden behind Variety’s paywall, please let me know and I’ll post the highlights.)
There is a shocking dearth of films playing tonight (The hockey musical? Even the Canadian waiting in line in front of me scoffed at it. Or Andrew Lau’s martial arts film, which might be fun.) I guess they’re waiting for everyone to arrive. But the worst news I received upon check-in is that the free transit passes that they gave out in recent years have been pulled because of a change in sponsorship. With the festival spread out in different spots this year, and most attendees staying in hotels further astray from the new industry center, this hurts.