Films are an important medium in art as they preserve culture and reflections of society, entertaining and educating the audience. Creators and enthusiasts who share the same affinity often rally together to create film festivals, celebrating their unique works and stories. The Toronto International Film Festival is among the many events held annually to celebrate the beauty of film.
The Toronto International Film Festival or TIFF is a non-profit cultural organization that was established to promote Canadian and international filmmakers and their works. Founded in 1976, it has grown to become one of the most anticipated events in the entertainment industry. TIFF is a highlight in the fall festival circuit and often attracts thousands of people in downtown Toronto.
While the global pandemic has made it difficult for people to see the prestigious event this year and get an early look at Oscar contenders, the Toronto International Film Festival has gone for a unique move with a hybrid digital and in-person event, allowing others to watch from the safety of their couches. Last year, the event was held on a digital platform, but thanks to the breakthroughs in the medical field, the cinema industry has been allowed to resume business, giving way to the return of the film festival.
The models of the Festival de Cannes, the Venice International Film Festival, and the Telluride Film Festival paved the way for a return to cinema in Toronto, providing them with the blueprint and idea that well-organized festivals can return to the site. The organizers of TIFF have prepared a lineup from September 9 to 18, giving people a chance to enjoy the various stories, visuals, and premieres of the Oscar contenders.
The Toronto International Film Festival has premiered some of the most anticipated projects like Edgar Wright’s thriller Last Night in Soho, Kenneth Branagh’s dramatic coming-of-age film Belfast, Pablo Larrain’s amalgam of drama and psychological thriller Spencer, Asghar Farhadi’s dramatic thriller A Hero, Jane Campion’s neo-Western The Power of the Dog, Joachim Trier’s drama-comedy The Worst Person in the World, Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin’s dramatic thriller based on a true story The Rescue, and Denis Villeneuve’s long awaited adaptation Dune.
The prestigious film festival also will feature the debut of three directors in the event—Ruth Paxton, Penny Lane, and Julia Ducournau. Ruth Paxton’s work A Banquet is an eerie debut that revolves around a young woman who starts receiving prophetic visions and refusing to eat after walking in on her sickly father after he commits suicide. Penny Lane’s Listening to Kenny G is a documentary that chronicles the award-winning saxophonist’s rise in the music industry. Lastly, Julia Ducournau’s Titane follows the same thrilling pattern of her debut film Raw and introduces the audience to a wild film that can evoke disgust and sympathy.
Despite already showing a plethora of amazing films in the past few days, the Toronto International Film Festival still has some gas left in the tank, giving the audience plenty to be excited about and the award shows some difficult decisions to make.