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Toronto International Film Festival

Toronto International Film Festival 2016
© 2016 Article, Photos and layout TorontoArtsandEvents; William F. White International Inc. VIP Reception, The CFC Annual BBQ Fundraiser,  and Mongrel Media Presents The Mongrel House Celebrating New Zealand Films sections by Aleka Allen.  All Rights Reserved.  Editors please contact us for use.

The 41st Annual Toronto International Film Festival was held September 8 to 18, 2016 in Toronto, Ontario. According to TIFF, it is the “leading public film festival in the world, screening more than 300 films from 60+ countries every September. Our programmers have earned a reputation for excellence, and a diverse array of films is shown: Hollywood galas, complete with red carpet glamour; the best in international cinema, the latest homegrown comedies… and everything in between.”  The TIFF Industry Conference is a seven-day professional development conference for delegates and focuses on the financing and producing, marketing, distribution, screenwriting and storytelling of films.  Many deals are done at TIFF.
The film festival is organized into the following programs:
Gala Presentations: Movie stars. Red carpet premieres. Major audience interest.
Masters:  The latest from the world’s most influential art house filmmakers.
Special Presentations:  High-profile premieres and the world’s leading filmmakers.
Mavericks:  Engaging on-stage conversations with leaders in the film industry and beyond.
Discovery:  Directors to watch. The future of world cinema.
TIFF Docs:  Candid and unscripted: the best non-fiction cinema from around the world.
Contemporary World Cinema:  Compelling stories, global perspectives.
Contemporary World Speakers:  Watch, experience, and participate in post-screening discussions with film directors and subject experts
Wavelengths:  Daring, visionary and autonomous voices. Films that expand our notions of cinema.
TIFF Kids:  Family films from around the world: entertaining and illuminating.
City to City:  Bringing international cities to Toronto audiences. A snapshot of where’s hot right now.
Short Cuts Canada:  The best short films from emerging and established Canadian filmmakers.
TIFF Cinematheque:  Curated gems from the history of Canadian and international cinema.
Future Projections: Taking the moving image from the cinema to the gallery — and beyond.
Vanguard:  Provocative, sexy… possibly dangerous. This is what’s next.
Midnight Madness:  The wild side: midnight screenings of the best in action, horror, shock and fantasy cinema.
Nextwave:  For the next generation of movie lovers: selections approved by our youth-driven TIFF Next Wave Committee.
Manifesto:  Culture. Ideas. Action. Screenings supported by Manifesto Community Projects
Special Event: Onstage and onscreen: exclusive engagements and celebrated guests.
Media Covers Hollywood Films at the Expense of Indie Films?
The Toronto International Film Festival has drawn in over 4000 attendees from around the world that want to be a part of this ten-day event.  High profile stars such as Denzel Washington, Casey Affleck, Natalie Portman, Lupita Nyong’o, Ryan Gosling, Anne Hathaway and Jake Gyllenhaal are just a few of the hundreds of actors at TIFF tend to generate early Oscar buzz and seem to take all of media’s attention at the expense of good indie actors and films.  As a result of extensive media coverage, for most fans, the arrival of A-List celebrities is the highlight of the Toronto International Film Festival. Stars such as those listed above have made their red carpet appearances at this year’s festival and drew large crowds to the streets just to catch a glimpse or snap a picture of their favourite Hollywood actor.

TIFF Film Deals:
According to the buzz on the street, this year’s festival saw weaker film sales than last year. “Colossal,” starring Anne Hathaway was sold to a new company launched by Radius co-founder Tom Quinn and Alamo Drafthouse owner Tim League.  “Their Finest,” a WWII dramedy from “An Education” director Lone Scherfig was bought by EuropaCorp.  Music Box Films bought U.S. rights to “A Quiet Passion,” a biopic of Emily Dickinson that stars “Sex and the City” star Cynthia Nixon taking on the role of the legendary poet.  “Lady Macbeth” has been bought by Roadside Attractions.  “Jackie” was purchased up by Fox Searchlight stars Natalie Portman   While “Colossal,” “Their Finest,” and “Lady Macbeth” made their World Premieres at TIFF, “A Quiet Passion” premiered at the Berlin Film Festival, and “Jackie” at Venice Film Festival.  Netflix bought the worldwide rights for “Tramps” following its debut at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival according to Variety.  Finally, CraveTV exclusively acquired the feature film The Rolling Stones OLÉ OLÉ OLÉ!: A Trip Across Latin America, which documents The Rolling Stones’ early 2016 tour through 10 Latin American cities.

TIFF Parties and Receptions:
What would the Toronto International Film Festival be without its non-stop calendar of parties, networking, and other industry events! From experimental pop-ups to extravagant cast parties that last until the early morning hours, the streets of downtown Toronto was a flurry of receptions and celebrations. Here is a review of a few of the events that TorontoArtsandEvents attended during this year’s film festival:

William F. White International Inc. VIP Reception:
William F. White International, Canada’s largest provider of equipment to the film and TV industry, hosted its annual VIP reception on Tuesday, September 13th, 2016. Over 300 of the industry’s top movers and shakers graced the TIFF Bell Light box rooftop terrace for an evening of networking and celebrating another great year in the Canadian film industry.
With the Toronto skyline in the background, and the sun setting in the west, it was such a beautiful evening for a glamourous outdoor reception. White silks lined the walls and classic rock music played in the background. The hors d’oeuvres were creative and delicious with offerings of quinoa-crusted shrimp, olive tapenade on bannock, and fried chicken so good it could put KFC out of business! The highlight of the evening was when Whites’ Chairman/CEO Paul Bronfman gave a rousing speech about the people that inspire him and his work and introduced the winner of the William F. White/Vilmos Zsigmond Cinematography Scholarship. This scholarship awarded $3,000.00 to a full-time post-secondary student who is currently enrolled in 2nd, 3rd, or 4th year of studies at an accredited Canadian College or University Cinematography program, during the September 2016 – August 2017 academic year.

The CFC Annual BBQ Fundraiser

Nearly 2,000 people attended the Annual Canadian Film Centre’s BBQ on Sunday, September 11th, 2016. It was a beautiful sunny day for this highly exclusive garden party. Many of the guests brought their families, children, and pets to the meticulously landscaped grounds of the Canadian Film Centre. Notable guests in attendance included the United States Ambassador to Canada, Bruce Heyman, and his wife, Vicki Heyman; Minister for Indigenous and Northern Affairs, MP for St. Paul’s, the Hon. Carolyn Bennett; former director of the CFC and producer, Peter O’Brien; Consul General of Canada in Los Angeles, James Villeneuve; and Toronto City Councillor, Don Valley East, Shelley Carroll. During the day, Norman Jewison, the CFC founder and Chair Emeritus, gave a speech that celebrated TIFF, the organization’s upcoming thirtieth anniversary, and concluded with a moment of silence for the victims of the September 11th attacks, which took place fifteen years ago that day.

There was an abundance of different food and beverage vendors at the party, beyond boring hot dogs and burgers. Pizzaville served some of their chicken poppers and specialty pizzas, which were tasty but cold. Crystal Head Vodka offered specialty cocktails, Brickworks Brewery served crisp dry cider, and Holy Cannoli dished up fresh, made-to-order cannolis. 10tation Catering made delectable vegetarian and chicken banh mi sandwiches. Another highlight of the party was the virtual reality headset demonstration held inside the greenhouse, which allowed eager guests to play campfire games or battle horror-movie villains. Canadian musical guests and The Slaight Foundation alumni Tomi Swick and Adaline performed during the party. It was unfortunate that the barbecue only lasted for three and a half hours but the free shuttle bus service from the CFC grounds to the Sony Performing Arts Centre made up for it.

Mongrel Media Presents The Mongrel House Celebrating New Zealand Films:

The New Zealand High Commission celebrated two New Zealand films at the 2016 Toronto International Film Festival – The Rehearsal and the Patriarch – as well as the New Zealand Film Industry and the New Zealand-Canada Relationship.  The New Zealand High Commission partnered with Mongrel Media (the Canadian distributor for The Rehearsal) to host a festival event on the September 9th at the Campbell House located at Queen and University.  The Rehearsal has a strong Canada-New Zealand connection as the director, Alison Maclean was born in Ottawa before moving to New Zealand as a teenager and it is based on the first novel from another Canadian-born New Zealander, the 2013 Man Booker Prize winner Eleanor Catton.  The Patriarch, a powerful family drama set in rural 1960’s New Zealand.  The film reunites Lee Tamahori and Temuera Morrison, the director and star of one of New Zealand most well-known films, Once Were Warriors.  The historic Campbell House museum on Queen Street West was transformed into the ‘Mongrel House’, an over-the-top party house that featured food stalls from the St. Lawrence Market, musical performances from local bands, and tons of late night entertainment. Sponsored by the Canadian film distributor Mongrel Media, this ten-day long party also showcased movie trailers for the sixteen films that were being shown during TIFF. Some of these films included ‘Manchester by the Sea’ starring Michelle Williams and Casey Affleck and ‘The Rehearsal’, a New Zealand drama adapted from Eleanor Cotton’s novel of the same name.

The grounds of the Mongrel House were decorated with pretty stringed lights in the trees that gave the place a slight mystical feel. While inside the house, very few guests took advantage of the arcade room, which had a ping pong table and some other arcade video games. There was live karaoke on the upper level of the house but it was either empty or barely used throughout the night. There was a massive lineup for the Holt Renfrew sponsored an arcade claw crane game, where guests attempted to win a variety of prizes such as gift certificates. Next to the Holt Renfrew crane game was the Aero chocolate booth, a box decorated like the inside of a giant Aero chocolate bar. After guest took their pictures inside the box, they grabbed a handful of Aero’s new chocolate vanilla truffle flavoured candy bar. Acura showcased their new Acura NSX model, allowing people to test out several of the car’s features as well as provide great photo opportunities inside the car.

Celebrate Ontario:

The Ontario Media Development Corporation, mandated to growth and investment in Ontario’s publishing, film and television, music and digital industries, celebrated nine OMDC Film Fund-supported features by some of Ontario Filmmakers at TIFF 2016 including:: Fred Peabody’s All Governments Lie: Truth, Deception, and The Spirit of I.F. Stone, April Mullen’s Below Her Mouth, Nicholas de Pencier’s Black Code, Aisling Walsh’s Maudie, Nathan Morlando’s Mean Dreams, Brigitte Berman’s The River of My Dreams: A Portrait of Gordon Pinsent, Jamie Kastner’s The Skyjacker’s Tale, Kim Nguyen’s Two Lovers And A Bear and Alan Gilsenan’s Unless.
This year’s event was held at the luxurious Carlu in Toronto and attracted Ontario Actors, Directors and producers as well as government officials such as the Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport.

Feature Film Producer Awards:

On September 8, 2016, the Canadian Media Producers Association (CMPA) announced the 2016 winners of its Feature Film Producer Awards, as part of the opening of the 41st Toronto International Film Festival, at the TIFF Filmmakers Lounge at the Glenn Gould Studio in the CBC Building on Front Street in Toronto

Roger Frappier (Max Films) was awarded the CMPA’s Established Producer Award for his outstanding achievements as an independent feature film producer in Canada and Hany Ouichou (Art & Essai) was presented with the CMPA’s inaugural Emerging Producer Award, because of his creative vision and impressive talents as an independent film producer with a promising career ahead.
“I’m thrilled to celebrate the work of these two remarkable producers and congratulate both Roger and Hany for their terrific films and their meaningful contributions to independent Canadian cinema,” said Reynolds Mastin, President and CEO, CMPA.

Roger Frappier’s filmography consists of nearly 70 production credits, including La Grande Séduction, Maelström, as well as Academy-Award nominated films Le Déclin de l’empire américain and Jésus de Montréal. Frappier was previously nominated for a CMPA Feature Film Producer Award in 2010. His latest film, Two Lovers and a Bear, will have its North American premiere as part of TIFF’s Special Presentation program. The feature was directed by Kim Nguyen and stars Tatiana Maslany and Dane DeHaan.

Hany Ouichou is the first recipient of the Emerging Producer Award, which was launched as part of the CMPA’s ongoing commitment to nurturing the development of aspiring Canadian filmmakers.  With two feature film credits to his name, Ouichou will showcase both productions at TIFF this year.
About the Awards
“Established in 2005, the CMPA Feature Film Producer Awards recognize producers whose vision and entrepreneurship demonstrate a commitment and passion for producing Canadian feature films. To be eligible for nomination, producers must have a film selected for screening at TIFF that year.  The winner of the Established Producer Award receives $10,000 and the winner of the new Emerging Producer Award receives $5,000.”
About the CMPA
“The Canadian Media Producers Association (CMPA) is the country’s leading member-based advocacy organization for independent producers. We represent hundreds of companies engaged in the development and distribution of English-language content made for television, cinema and digital media channels. The CMPA works to promote the continued success of the Canadian production sector and ensure a future for diverse content made by Canadians for both domestic and international audiences. “

That’s a Wrap

Another season of TIFF has come to a successful end. The warm Toronto fall weather allowed enjoyment of this ten-day-long celebration of film and filmmakers from around the world.  Check back here for next year’s festival.

© 2016 Article, Photos and layout TorontoArtsandEvents; William F. White International Inc. VIP Reception, The CFC Annual BBQ Fundraiser,  and Mongrel Media Presents The Mongrel House Celebrating New Zealand Films sections by Aleka Allen.  All Rights Reserved.  Editors please contact us for use.

Category: Movies
Start Date: 2016-09-08
End Date: 2016-09-18
Venue: Toronto Ontario

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