09/14/2012 10:32 EDT | Updated 11/14/2012 05:12 EST

TIFF 2012 Backstage Pass: Singing Purple Rain at Karaoke


Day 7

9:00AM -- Although I've probably only slept for four hours, felt so luxurious to have a leisurely wake-up! After the late night dancing at the City to City Party, I needed to rest up. After all, tonight is our annual Karaoke shindig, my favourite night of the festival.

11:15AM -- In the office fighting with the printer. Trying to get a jump on all of the dinner receipts and forms that will need to be submitted post-festival. Ah the glamorous life of festival programming.

1:52PM -- Sorting through the RSVPs for karaoke night. Already have some fun names on my list heading to Koreatown tonight. Directors, actors, programmers, industry delegates -- festival people love karaoke: "and if you don't know, now you know."

5:23PM -- Stuck in traffic on the way to introduce a film; jumped out of the cab and had to sprint, in heels, to the theatre. Felt very Sarah Jessica Parker.

5:32PM -- Made it to the theatre just in time to grab the mic and walk on stage. Introduced Gangs of Wasseypur, parts one and two playing back to back, and found most of the audience was settling in for the whole six hours. Director Anurag Kashyap advises them to get some coffee before we start.

9:25PM -- After a lively Q&A for Gangs of Wasseypur, jumped on the subway to get to another Director's dinner. The venue is stunning and the guests are all finding each other and making new connections. Highlight: chatting in French with the very cool Abdoul Karim Konaté, talented actor from the Ivory Coast here with the film Burn It Up Djassa.

10:32PM -- No dinner for me, rushed across town to get the karaoke started. Arrived at our usual Korean dive and squeezed into the tiny bathroom stall for a quick costume change. Karaoke requires jeans.

11:15PM -- Let the singing begin! First guests tentatively entering the main room, still trying to figure out what they are doing here and terrified I will put the mic in their hands first.

12:05AM -- Song titles going into the system fast and furious now, everything from Celine Dion to The Killers to Shaggy. On the mic right now, the New York boys are holding it down with Eminem.

1:16AM -- Filling up quick, need to open another room. And the dancing has begun: where is the air conditioning in this place?

2:37AM -- TIFF Artistic Director Cameron Bailey everybody, killing it on "Purple Rain": lots of swaying and arm gesturing from the definitely over capacity audience.

3:00AM -- An hour past closing time. Last Songs: "Hey Yeah," "Don't Stop Us Now," "Don't Stop Believing." Everyone altogether now.

4:35AM -- After Karaoke drinks with members of our programming team. That last glass of scotch is gonna hurt in the morning but so worth it. Best programming team in the business.

Day 8

9:00AM -- After three hours of sleep, up curling my hair. Headed to the beautiful and historic Elgin Theater to present Margarethe Von Trotta's new film Hannah Arendt. Opting for the kitten heels today, easier on the toes.

1:24PM -- After the engrossing and thought-provoking Hannah Arendt screening, it is no surprise that our uber knowledgeable audience had some great questions for the wonderful women on stage. And Von Trotta's love for Barbara Sukowa was palpable.

3:38PM -- Arranging Gala tickets and Green Room access for some of our VIP guests for tomorrow's screening of ENGLISH VINGLISH. After the great Mumbai new wave films, it's nice to have a touch of Bollywood and witness the miraculous return of Sridevi to the screen after fifteen years.

7:03PM -- Planning for a quiet night. A couple of Q&As and then it's home to bed, unless that bbm starts to flash again...

11:37PM -- Last Q&A checked off. What's that buzzing? Programmer Rasha Salti using all of her Lebanese charm to lure me out for drinks. Hmmm.....