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TORONTO '08 DISPATCH | Sunday Night at TIFF: An indieWIRE Diary

Photo of Peter Knegt By Peter Knegt | Indiewire September 9, 2008 at 1:50AM

Sunday was a busy night in Toronto. Well over a dozen items were on indieWIRE's list of possible events to cover and we were unsure how to negotiate it. At the last minute, we decided that it might be "fun" to have me attempt to attend every single one. While that certainly didn't end up being the case, I came pretty close, and the following is a play-by-play of the effort.
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Sunday was a busy night in Toronto. Well over a dozen items were on indieWIRE's list of possible events to cover and we were unsure how to negotiate it. At the last minute, we decided that it might be "fun" to have me attempt to attend every single one. While that certainly didn't end up being the case, I came pretty close, and the following is a play-by-play of the effort.

6:40 p.m.: I head out from the indieWIRE abode 40 minutes after the first event on my list - the party for Matt Tyrnauer's documentary "Valentino: The Last Emporer" - had begun. Despite once being a Torontonian, I have no idea where the address is and didn't do any Google mapping prior to heading out. The cab driver is equally confused, and twenty minutes and $25 later we finally figure it out.

7:02 p.m.: I arrive at the party, and am informed by the publicist that Tyrnauer and his subject, fashion designer Valentino Garavani, are running an hour or so late, and won't be there until 7:45 at the earliest. Given that I had two more events to get to by 8pm, this was a bit of problem. I go into the party and see about ten people standing around. One of them - a writer for People - approaches me. She asks if I'm a journalist and is somewhat confused about her evening itinerary. "I just got thrown into this and I didn't quite do my research. What's this movie about?" She's very nice, and I tell her its about Valentino and the time leading up to his final couture show. She mentions that she has five other events to go to, so I imagine I'll see her again later.

7:10 p.m.: I leave the party, without a picture of Valentino or really anything journalistic to note.

7:27 p.m.: Another expensive cab ride across town later, I'm at the party for Sony/BMG at the W Lounge. I'm not on the list despite RSVPing, and the publicist asks where I'm from. I tell her.

"Oh, Edie-wire! Of course, go right in." I'm confused, but see a pretty sparse crowd and realize her desperation. A rep for Sony gets up and makes a call to "the film community" to use Sony/BMG's music in their films.

7:47 p.m.: Sony guy introduces the night's DJ, Wyclef Jean.

7:50 p.m.: Forty industry people start dancing to "Hips Don't Lie." I take that as a cue to leave. On the way out, I see the People journalist, she informs me Jean reportedly got $250,000 for his set. I also get a Guess gift bag.

Wyclef Jean spins at a Sony/BMG party in Toronto. Photo by Peter Knegt.

7:55 p.m.: I decide to walk to the next party and stop at a parkette to relieve some of my mostly lady-product gift bag. A homeless person is eyeing me as I do it. I motion for him to come take the stuff I leave on a bench. Women's razors, handcream, hair pins, and an issue of Hello! Canada now the property of homeless guy.

8:10 p.m.: I arrive at the Fortissimo party ten minutes too late. They are in town selling "Disgrace," "Food, Inc.," and "Gigantic," among others. But two parties out of three ain't bad.

8:22 p.m.: My brother meets me on the corner of Bloor and Bay to accompany me to the next round of events. We head to Pangea for the party for Vincente Amorim's "Good," which premieres Monday night and is about a "good" man (Viggo Mortensen)'s descent into Nazi collaboration.

8:35 p.m.: Inside Pangea, the film's lovely publicist gathers together Amorim and the film's cast - Mortensen, Jason Isaacs and Jodie Whitaker - for a photo opportunity. Amorim jokes that if I cut him out of the picture "he'll cancel his subscription to indieWIRE." Viggo shakes my hand, I narrowly avoid responding with a meaningless pubescence grunt and I remarkably remain standing. Everyone is very nice.

9:02pm: I head to the Empire Restaurant for the "Young Hollywood Awards Pre-Bash." I am uncertain as to what that means, but the release said Lauren Graham "would be in attendance" and my inner-Gilmore Girl can't resist. I am again not on the list, but they let both me and my brother in anyway. "People won't be getting here until 10 or 11, though," he says. Inside there are literally four people. I take the opportunity to relax for a bit.

9:12 p.m.: We sit and sip vodka sodas. Some loud man comes up and asks for a cigarette. He tells us we look alike and that we sound like we are from Los Angeles. Half of this is true.

9:20 p.m.: Am already bordering on intoxication. And no sign of Ms. Gilmore.

9:36 p.m.: Walk a few blocks to the party for Danny Boyle's much buzzed about "Slumdog Millionaire." We enjoy "Slumdog"-themed martinis - entitled "Lucky," "Genius," "Written" and "Cheated" to coincide with the film's plot of a "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire" contestant in India who becomes a national sensation after he is accused of cheating.

9:41 p.m.: We argue over what Danny Boyle looks like and I'm totally drawing a blank. I don't get any photos or anything journalistic to note.

10:08 p.m.: Too many "Slumdog"-tinis later, we head to the party for Kevin Smith's "Zach and Miri Make a Porno" at the W Lounge.

10:16 p.m.: Realize I have now missed the party for Dana Nachman and Don Hardy's "Witch Hunt" - the Sean Penn narrated doc about a series of sexual abuse cases in Bakersfield, California. But was informed today that the host of the party was moved to make a $30,000 donation to the Northern California Innocent Project.

Kevin Smith enters the party for "Zach and Miri Make a Porno" in Toronto. Photo by Alex Knegt.

10:49 p.m.: The W Lounge appears to still be transitioning from the Wyclef party to the "Miri" party. No sign of Kevin Smith or Seth Rogen, but my friend from People pops up again and tells me Edward Norton - in Toronto with Gavin O'Connor's "Pride and Glory" - is upstairs.

11:08 p.m.: Two Edward Norton spottings later, the rest of the indieWIRE team meets up with us. They had been at the Sony Pictures Classics dinner, and excitedly announce that they had seen Wong Kar-Wai without his sunglasses.

11:20 p.m.: I realized the pen I had been using to make these notes has exploded in my bag, and now my camera, cell phone and hands are covered in black ink.

11:24 p.m.: Bathroom has no soap or hand towels and am forced to continue the night with ink covered hands.

11:38 p.m.: People writer finds me and asks if I have an extra pen. I show her my hands. She laughs. We're basically best friends now.

12:02 a.m.: We leave. And all grab more Guess bags left over from first party. And see Kevin Smith coming out of a towncar as we exit the building. People are holding his umbrella for him.

12:06 a.m.: Decide to give up on the MTV VMA Afterparty and the party for Gilles Bourdos's "Afterwards" and head out to one final destination - joining a slew of industry gays and gals at male strip club Remington's infamous festival ladies night.

12:14 a.m.: Drunkenly though earnestly, one of my indieWIRE colleagues gives his Guess bag to the cab driver en route to the bar, suggesting his wife - who we learned is named Sharon - would love the Calvin Klein perfume. He also recommends Remington's. The cab driver is confused as to what happens at Remington's, which is probably a good thing.

3:17 a.m.: Arrive home after making two stops at hot dog stands en route. The past three hours are either too blurry or too inappropriate to note here. I fear for my 9 a.m. screening.

Get the latest from the Toronto International Film Festival in indieWIRE's special section.

This article is related to: Features, Festival Dispatch





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