THE BLOG

TIFF 2012 Backstage Pass: "Is That Snoop Dogg?"

09/08/2012 10:21 EDT | Updated 11/08/2012 05:12 EST
Flickr: thecomeupshow

This is the third blog in a series documenting what it's like working behind-the-scenes at TIFF.

1:48AM -- Got the call that El Hadi, the 70-year-old veteran of the Algerian war and subject of the exquisite and intimate documentary Fidaï, made it on to his 2:00 AM flight. So thrilled to be presenting this important documentary, produced by Chinese master Jia Zhang-ke, in the 50th year of Algeria's Independence.

2:38AM -- Tried to be smart, avoided opening night after-after parties. Arrived home to find a note from the building manager of my loft -- hot water pump damaged, no shower, fantastic. Made a last minute plan to get hair done at 7AM.

7:00AM -- Sent emails and prepped for the day while getting my hair did.

10:10AM -- Meeting with the wonderful people at the National Film Development Corporation of India, co-hosts of the City to City Mumbai Party -- yes, there will be Bollywood-themed cupcakes! And hot tunes spun by Toronto's own Besharam's DJ Amita.

12:50PM -- Awaiting the arrival of the first guests for a private filmmaker's lunch with Cameron Bailey, artistic director of TIFF. And here he comes now! Rowan Athale, director of the super smart crime thriller Wasteland.

1:45PM -- Finally sitting down to lunch with some of our fabulous guests after some lively chatting over a glass (or two) of wine. Sit next to Alexander Fehling (lead actor in this year's Shores of Hope and other films the likes of Inglorious Basterds)? Don't mind if I do.

3:55PM -- Ah, the lunches always seem to go too quickly, but alas, time to run to another screening.

6:00PM -- Introduced Shanghai to a packed house, new film from up and coming Indian director Dibakar Banerjee, and starring the suave and selfless Abhay Deol. A real honour.

6:26PM -- Snoop Lion is in the house. Time to get Reincarnated.

8:27PM -- Feeling the love back stage with Snoop and Reincarnated Director Andy Capper. Great audience, jammin' start to the Q&A.

8:48PM -- Answering a question on whether he would have any dancehall artists on his new Reggae album, Snoop Lion gave us a little wind it up. Still got swagger, even with a cane.

8:56PM -- "Is that Snoop Dogg?": Overheard from a young boy in the lounge at TIFF Bell Lightbox as we ushered Snoop and the team into the freight elevator.

9:04PM -- Heels hurting as I run to another venue for a Q&A with Barry Berk, director of the striking and mournful, psycho-sexual South African thriller Sleeper's Wake. Can't wait to meet one of the leads, Deon Lotz, outstanding South African actor.

9:45PM -- On the run again, this time in a cab. Snuck in the back of the screening of Noah Baumbach's Frances Ha, one of the most surprising, endearing, funny and uplifting films this year. Greta Gerwig is a revelation. The audience seems to agree.

11:38PM -- Headed back to the office after an amazing Q&A with Noah and Greta. The day is starting to sink in, and the craziness ahead. In the line-up for tomorrow: croissants and conversations at the Filmmakers Brunch; my six-year-old niece's first red carpet for the spectacular new animated film Hotel Transylvania (voices include Selena Gomez, Cee-lo and Adam Sandler); a cocktail to celebrate the Middle Eastern and African films programmed by the wonderful Rasha Salti; some more Snoop; and star-studded dinner for some of Cameron's most anticipated films. Might need to rest up for this one.