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Toronto Film Festival Dailies

The  44th  Toronto  International  Film  Festival  runs  September  5–15,  2019 in Canada's most vibrant and exciting metropolis, it has become one of the most important film events on the festival calendar.

Showcasing more than 300 films and hosting industryites from around the world, Toronto can "make or break" films looking for international distribution and a chance at Oscar gold. From glitzy red carpet premieres to challenging art films to cutting edge new media, the Festival offers something for every taste.

Past Coverage 2014 2015 - Coverage 2016 in French   English


Toronto Party Hopping, Part Deux


Monday, September 8------I know, I my last piece I stated that a high-minded journalist like myself was more interested in seeing films than going to parties, but on Sunday evening, as I did the evening before, I found myself party hopping yet again. It is difficult to resist.....publicists for the films or the party venues lavish you with invitations, entice you with all the food you can gobble up and all the liquor you can consume. And you say to yourself....well, it's all about the networking. But in the end, it's all about getting behind the velvet ropes.

But since the parties at the Toronto International Film Festival are legendary, the art of party hopping is a kind of spectator sport. As much as one does, someone in the crowd is always doing it a little better, a little louder and a little showier.

But the party agenda started off quite dignified with the annual European Film Promotion bash at the Bistro. EFP has been hosting this shindig for many years, and it has become one of Toronto's most anticipated meet-and-greets. It is also a great opportunity to wrangle European filmmakers, distributors and film festival heads all in one tidy package. As usual, the atmosphere was convivial, with big hugs and air kisses. And who doesn't want to be on the "ins" with the artsy European crowd?

But enough high culture....the next stop was the Film Lounge, which seems to have a party every other minute. The 8:00pm soiree was sponsored by Sony BMG Music, which was promoting its Movie Tunes service, providing filmmakers with access to the company's rich catalogue of thousands of recorded songs. This was a music-heavy event, with film and music pros mixing and networking, while a local dj was spinning loungy mood music.

It was more about the networking at the next stop on the festival express. Several Scandinavian film organizations (including the Swedish Film Institute, the Danish Film Institute, the Norwegian Film Institute and the Finnish Film Foundation) joined forces for the "Scandinavian party". Before your mouth starts to water with images of pickled herring or other smorgasboard delicacies, the food was considerably simpler, but the alcohol was flowing and the mood very relaxed among film buyers and sellers, who were letting their hair down after a long day of film biz. This was the most network-friendly of all the events, with distributors and film festival honchos making up the main mix, along with impossibly blond Scandinavian filmmakers and some of the most fresh faced godesses on the circuit.

At this point, it was past midnight, and I was starting to feel dog tired, but my companion for the evening, New York producer Mark Downey, urged me on to the final bash of the night. The Weinstein Company was partying after its successful premiere of Zack And Miri Make A Porno, the latest film bonbon from American indie maverick Kevin Smith (Clerks). The music was a mix of popular dance hits and contemporary hip-hop, with the beautiful fashionistas making their mark. I spotted some industry types in the thick-as-molasses crowd, but this mainly seemed to be a meeting of Toronto scenesters. Anyway, the people watching was quite excellent, as were the drinks. When I nearly tripped over my own feet while dancing to a Michael Jackson track,  I knew it was time for this 50-year-old to head home.

Sandy Mandelberger, Toronto FF Dailies Editor



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About Toronto Film Festival Dailies

The Dailies from Toronto

Contributing editors: Bruno Chatelin 

Laurie Gordon Animaze International Film Festival Le Miaff!
Leopoldo Soto Huatulco Food and Film Festival Director
Gary Lucas Guitar hero Performing artist live score to classic and horror film
Mike Rabehl Programmer and Buyer Cinequest Film Festival San Jose Tiwtter: @cqmike
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