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TIFF 2012 Backstage Pass: Hanging with Jackie Chan? Don't Mind if I Do!

09/10/2012 12:14 EDT | Updated 11/10/2012 05:12 EST
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This is the fifth blog in a series documenting what it's like working behind-the-scenes at TIFF.

7:10 a.m. -- Up and madly BBM'ing to confirm the guest list for tonight's VIP dinner.

8:50 a.m. -- Outside Cinema 3 at Cineplex Yonge & Dundas for an early morning screening of Shores of Hope. Producer asks if there will be anyone up this early to watch an intense portrayal of East Germany in the 1980s. Answer? Packed house.

11:26 a.m. -- Audience at Shores of Hope thrilled to see lead actor Alexander Fehling in the house for a Q&A, a young German star who should be a household name.

1:11 p.m. -- Watching Ginger and Rosa for the first time, really powerful film about big ideas and personal betrayals. Outstanding cast. Thrilled to be in house to do the Q&A with Sally Potter, Annette Bening and Alessandro Nivola.

1:52 p.m. -- Highlights from the Ginger and Rosa Q&A: Sally Potter breaking into tears when talking about Elle Fanning's performance and making this film for her mother; Alessandro Nivola reassuring the audience that he is just a nice kid from Boston, not his philandering character; Annette Bening taking the time to thank one of our dedicated volunteers for all of their help on the way out of the theatre.

2:13 p.m. -- Need protein, sneaking in some spicy tofu eggplant before running to the next screening. Good thing I have industrial strength mints.

4:35 p.m. -- Jockeying for the Lindt chocolates backstage with John Hawkes, Helen Hunt and William H. Macy after the Q&A for The Sessions. Everyone should see this movie, a true story of a man unable to move who seeks out the assistance of a sexual surrogate: tear-jerking, smart and laugh out loud funny. I agree with one of our audience members, Oscar noms should follow.

4:45 p.m. -- Outside the theatre, audience members overjoyed by Q&A for The Sessions. My mom, one such audience member, overjoyed by the thank yous of strangers for my role as moderator. Each thank you is greeted with a "she's my daughter!"

8:05 p.m. -- Such a great day of cinema. Standing on the side of the stage with Dan Algrant, director of Greetings from Tim Buckley, and an emotional Penn Badgley. His performance as Jeff Buckley will surprise and impress people. And the man can sing!

8:45 p.m. -- Doing a make-up touch up on the subway as I rush back to the Lightbox to host a VIP dinner.

9:05 p.m. -- Thrilled to get the chance to talk to the fascinating and influential Chris Dodd, former Senator and current Chairperson of the MPAA, first guest to arrive for dinner.

9:35 p.m. -- Everyone is here...and by everyone I mean Jackie Chan and his entourage of actresses from his new film, CZ12, which he gave our audiences a sneak peek at earlier today. Magnetic, charming, generous: an honour to have him at the Festival for our massive Asian Summit.

11:35 p.m. -- Conversation and wine still flowing. Mira Nair discusses film financing and the Princess of Qatar with Cameron Bailey and Chris Dodd. This is where new connections and big ideas start.

12:52 p.m. -- Arrived at the CAA Party, surrounded by industry heavyweights. Dancing and reflecting on a great day of Q&As and engrossing conversations, I start to think about the line-up for the next day: a panel on alternative distribution methods in Africa; lunch at the top of the CN Tower; premiere of Terrence Malick's sensual and mesmerizing new film To The Wonder; a reception for our astounding and amazing Wavelengths experimental programme. One more week to go!