Huffpost Canada ca
Julie MacArthur Headshot

TIFF 2012 Backstage Pass: The Festival Wraps Up With Spike Lee

Posted: Updated:

Day 9
9:08AM - After resisting the temptation for one more cocktail last night, got a brilliant full night of sleep. Ready to end things off right for the closing weekend.

10:01AM - Lee Daniels, director of The Paperboy, stuck on set, in a hurricane. Will he make it for tonight's premiere?

11:45AM - Headed to the theatre for back to back intros. Slowing down but lots of guests still in town.

2:35PM - Bumped into CEO and Director of TIFF Piers Handling outside a theatre. Still standing and still smiling, thought it was one of the best festivals yet.

7:10PM - Watching Ivan Attal's latest film Do Not Disturb, a French remake of the cult classic Hump Day, in which two heterosexual male friends dare each other to make a gay porn film together. Thinking of starting the Q&A's with "I don't know about you, but I feel like calling my best friend." But will it get the laugh?

7:47PM - Got the laugh and the Q&A was exactly like Ivan himself: charming, slightly irreverent and oh so French.

8:02PM - He made it! Backstage with Lee Daniels, David Oyelowo and Zac Efron for the premiere of The Paperboy. It is amazing to see what Lee Daniels can get his actors to do. Hordes of fans await Efron's exit out on the street. Lots of sighs and exclamations when I am allowed through to backstage.

9:00PM - In the Green Room with the luminous Sridevi for her comeback Gala film English Vinglish. Candy and champagne are Green Room musts here at Roy Thompson Hall.

Day 10

10:02AM - Late night leads to a lazy morning. On my way to intro Cloud Atlas. Was really a highlight to be backstage at the world premiere on Day 3 with Lana Wachowski, Tom Tykwer, Andy Wachowski, Tom Hanks, Halle Berry and Hugh Grant. Wait, did I forget to mention that earlier?

1:52PM - BBM from the boss: "can you arrange for a car to pick up Indian sweets from the Ritz for the English Vinglish screening? Need them for 2:15PM"

2:36PM - A very happy audience exited the English Vinglish to receive a surprise gift: homemade ladoos in beautiful custom boxes.

8:02PM - Last minute schedule and costume change. Cameron needs back up for the Spike Lee Bad 25 Q&A tonight in case the closing night gala runs long. Don't mind at all.

8:45PM - Backstage with Spike Lee. While I'm exhausted and can no longer feel my big toes, getting to meet people like Spike Lee always brings home how lucky I feel to do this job, to work in this organization, to live and breathe cinema.

11:14PM - Cameron made it and the Q&A is rocking. This portrait of Michael Jackson and the making of the Bad album has obviously moved people, emotionally and physically. Spike encourages one audience member, decked out in an MJ-inspired red leather jacket, to do the Thriller move. And we finally get to find out if Annie is ok!

12:05AM - Arrived fashionably late to the closing night party at Roy Thompson Hall. Dance floor is packed. Perfect way to cap off a great Festival.

1:12AM - Move on to the Bad 25 after party. Hands down best music of any party during the festival. Bumping into old friends and meeting new ones. It's the last night, a bittersweet melancholy is setting in. But still one more day to go.

Day 11
12:00PM - "Welcome to Day 11, last day of the Festival. And we have Spike Lee in the house." Audience jumps to their feet as I introduce Bad 25 and bring Spike up on stage, one last time. Class act to show up for the Intro on his way to the airport. And not a bad way to finish my Festival.

12:45PM - At the Awards Brunch. Winners of the Blackberry People's Choice Awards and other jury prizes announced.

2:05PM - Congrats to all the winners! One last cheers and the festival is a wrap! See you all next year.