Every September for the past four decades, Toronto’s filmgoers unite for the busiest screening period of the year.
A mainstay of the city’s cultural landscape for 40 years, TIFF brings a creative energy to the core that turns a trip to the theatre into a full-fledged event. I attended my first Midnight Madness screening seven years ago and I’ve never had the experience replicated in a non-festival setting. As a film lover, it’s moving to see lines of audience members stretching around the block in an electrifying atmosphere. While the star-studded premieres get the most press, there is far more to TIFF than celebrity sightings. For film buffs, it’s an opportunity to see movies that may not see a widespread local release and a chance to discover new directors, writers and performers.
The community experience of TIFF is so memorable, I’ve never met a ‘one-time’ TIFF attendee. Once you’ve experienced it, you’re hooked for the rest of your movie-going existence. Beyond the business of film, I know cinephiles who annually schedule their vacations around the festival and married couples who have met waiting in line for a screening. (Maybe there needs to be an official tally of TIFF-facilitated weddings?)
To paraphrase Thai director Prachya Pinkaew at my first Midnight Madness screening in 2008 – “Do all Toronto audiences cheer for movies like they’re at a rock concert?”
They do at TIFF.
Happy Anniversary and many thanks to all of the staff, volunteers and audiences that continue to make TIFF an incredible Toronto experience.
The 2015 edition of TIFF runs until September 20th.
For more details visit: http://tiff.net/festivals/festival15