The Toronto International Film Festival happened only about a month ago, but it’s already an ordeal I’m happy to be over and done with. I purposely tried to limit my coverage of this years festival, knowing the insanity my fellow reviewers are thrown into by having to pump out an unfathomable amount of articles in such a compressed space of time.
But that’s not the only thing I dread about TIFF: the crowds always seem to get me, too. Long, long, long line ups, frustrated patrons and the reek of money have often tainted my TIFF experiences. I love the TIFF for all of its Canadian gusto- but it’s become a little bit too much to deal with in recent years.
The Toronto After Dark Film Festival? Well, this festival continues to be a whole different and yet delightful beast altogether. The first time I ‘covered’ the TADFF was about five years ago.
My first film festival coverage My first film festival EVER was at this terrific venue and I can definitely recall being scared as shit going into it.
What would the crowd be like? Would the horror punk/ darkly clad coven of nerds who I’d seen endlessly lining east and west around the Bloor Cinema, be complete assholes? How would patrons be treating each other? I was happy to find out that the festival was the probably the best thing I could ever dream of, or rather, the best kind of nightmare I could ever have? You get the point.
Fast and friendly service from volunteers, cool and composed festival goers and always an intriguing selection- the TADFF set the tone for certain festival going luxuries I came to understand is not afforded to every festival experience.
2012 marks my first return to TADFF since my newby experience– but I’m so glad to see little has changed in Toronto’s festival of fear.I turned up for my first film of the year, Inbred, 30 minutes before it started– and got the seat I wanted. Despite being surrounded by hordes of zombies costumed patrons, no one was shoving to get seats–or brains–when we walked inside.
Most notably, no festival ‘official’ showed up to inform me that a group of ‘disabled’ people would be arriving to have the spot in front of me. Needless to say no ‘disabled’ people — who could walk, talk and function just fine –showed up to claim the said spots earned by money rather through inability or kindness.
I know the root of my issues with TIFF is a problem that is a result of festival expansion, saturation and over endorsement. I hope to see the TADFF get more of these elements, so that it can amp up the playful festival atmosphere– but I sure as fuck like it better the greasy smell of money that floats around King and John at the end of every summer.
Stay tuned for more my festival coverage from the Toronto After Dark Film Festival ’12 !