The Week in Review: There's More To TIFF Than Long Lines

This week saw the kickoff of the Toronto International Film Festival and all the line-ups, cameras, parties, celeb sightings (and stalkings), road closures, red carpet poses, and chaos that go with it. TIFF usually makes me cranky. The whole lining up for tickets you've already bought thing makes no sense. And why the herding of audience members outdoors in inclement weather? Enter HuffPost's Spotlight on TIFF blog series. Hearing from directors such as Atom Egoyan and Alanis Obomsawin has been a refreshing reminder of what the festival is really about. It's not just a venue for waiting around and celeb stalking. It's the place an incredibly creative, hardworking group of people choose to share their deeply felt visions with an audience for the first time. Looked at that way, TIFF feels more like a privilege than a hassle.

TIFF Reviews: Closed Curtain

A middle-aged man arrives at a seaside cottage. He closes the doors, hangs heavy black curtains over all of the windows, and then opens a duffle bag to reveal a little brown mutt. Soon thereafter, we learn that in his (unnamed) Islamic Republic, dogs have been banned. This is just the start of a thrilling, complex journey directed by infamous Iranian filmmaker, Jafar Panahi. It may be the biggest film I saw at TIFF.

Quick TIFF Reviews: The Fifth Estate (Dir: Bill Condon)

So much for all the buzz around The Fifth Estate, Bill Condon's frustratingly flat dramatization of the formation, triumphs, and sundering of WikiLeaks, the anarchist information-sharing website. Relying on tight close-ups and lengthy speeches, there is a distinctly made-for-TV feel to the proceedings which even great performances couldn't have overcome. But sadly, the biggest misstep falls on the shoulders of Benedict Cumberbatch.

What's TIFF Worth?

The Toronto International Film Festival remains an important hub for making movie deals, even while it contributes an estimated $189 million to the local economy. A study by TNS Canada Ltd. conducted...


Leading up to their 37th year, TIFF announced a fantastic lineup of films that--if films were chocolate--would make a cinema buff salivate. While the complete listing is a smorgasbord of foreign, local, big-name and independent items, there are a few that I particularly want to see. So here you have just a handful of entries on Shannon's list of films she hopes will make their way from TIFF to CIFF this year.