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DFI at TIFF – Day 1

Sep 07, 2012

By Anealla Safdar in Toronto

From the moment you land in Toronto, festival fever is palpable and electrifying. The airport calls on you repeatedly to attend the 11-day event using footage of sparkling stars treading over red carpets of previous years. Posters are plastered across the arrivals terminal, videos play on repeat as you collect your luggage and you have to step over a faux Hollywood walk of fame to get to the taxi queue.

Hotels are packed with high-profile celebrities (one of our team shares a residence with actor Giovanni Ribisi), directors, producers, film PRs frantically pushing their clients, buyers looking for the next award-winner or high-grossing popcorn movie, salesmen and cinephiles.

Some flew straight from Italy’s Venice Film Festival, which ends Saturday, seeking to engage a new audience.

Many quality films are among the 146 (from 72 countries) which will premiere here, including some from the Arab region. “Fidaï, a DFI MENA Grantee enjoys its first public screening tonight.

Giovanni Ribisi at his hotel on opening night

As well as Hollywood, international cinema is being supported aggresively. Mumbai is this year’s timely City to City; Indian cinema is in its 100th year so more films from the South Asian nation will be screened.

There’s a local element too. TIFF Bell Lightbox is the festival’s new home and will continue to serve the public after the event. It includes five public cinemas, two galleries, three learning studios, a centre for students and scholars, a bistro, a restaurant, and a lounge.

Last night’s main event, entertainment news outlets squealed, was Kristen Stewart’s first major appearance since a very public split from Robert Pattinson. She attended to her fans (some had waited since 7am to greet her) at the “On The Road” screening. The film, an adaptation Jack Kerouac’s novel of the same name, shows us what hipsters were like more than 50 years ago in America.

It’s good, some reviewers said after its world premiere at Cannes in May, but probably not good enough to win an Academy Award.

And that’s a large part of what Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) is all about – spotting the next big thing. The last five Best Picture winners at the Oscars were screened at TIFF – widely considered the industry’s largest launching pad.

By September 16, when TIFF ends, many will have decided who is likely to win big. There are already ideas floating around, including:

Director Ben Affleck

Cloud Atlas
Directors Tom Twyker, Lana Wachowski, Andy Wachowski

Director Rian Johnson

The Master
Director Paul Thomas Anderson

Stay with us over the the next week as we report directly from TIFF with news, reviews, interviews and videos bringing you closer to the red carpet…

للترجمة العربية اضغط على

Argo Trailer - TIFF Festival 2012

إعلان فيلم أرغو- مهرجان تورونتو السينمائي الدولي 2012

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