Friday, September 09, 2011

Toronto International Film Festival 2011: An Introduction

TORONTO—Two whole years after I first resolved to one day attend the Toronto International Film Festival, I am finally here in this bustling town, gearing myself to see 29 films in the next 10 days, and basically inundate myself with cinematic discoveries.

I'm not here under the most ideal of circumstances. I would have preferred to have attended the festival as a member of the press, if only so I could pretend, for 10 days, that I had somehow moved up in the world and was actually working on the same level as some of the "big dog" film critics I admire so much. Maybe I should have just said "fuck it" and tried to apply for press credentials even without a more "official" affiliation than this here blog (I had always assumed this blog wasn't good enough to be taken seriously). (Why am I always so reluctant to take those kinds of risks?) In any case, this year one of my roommates offered up a spot in a suite he had reserved, free of charge, in Toronto; combine that with an offer to split a 50-ticket package with a friend of his, and I finally decided that I couldn't pass up this opportunity to finally attend one of the biggest film festivals of the world, money be damned.

So here I am. Either I keep on regretting what this experience could have been, or I can just forge ahead and make the best of it now that I'm here. I'll do the latter. And I'll certainly try my best to update you all on the films I see here in Toronto as the festival goes on.

Besides, once I come back from Toronto, I then have the New York Film Festival to look forward to—and at least, for that hometown festival, I'll be once again covering it for Slant Magazine's The House Next Door. After a summer in which I pretty much allowed my professional life to dwindle to near-nothingness, I could certainly use the infusion of work.

Stay tuned for more dispatches from the Toronto International Film Festival, dear readers!


Anonymous said...

next time just apply for credentials. the worst thing that happens is they say no. but at least give them a chance to evaluate your request. You dont know. Perhaps they are trying to beef up the bloggers/tweeters for their fest, and you match their strategy needs. You wont know unless u ask. I speak from experience. I got a press credential a decade ago for a small diverse press outlet. And after I wrote a lot, I got the cerdential the next year. And then another outlet asked me to write pieces for them.. etc etc.... and then based on those I was able to get credentials for other fests.

Kenji Fujishima said...

I will probably try next year. I don't know what it is about me that prevents me from just taking these kinds of chances, as if I'm so afraid of rejection I just figure I might as well not try it in the first place. It's really kinda frustrating—even more so now that I can only wonder what could have been.

Laura Marijan said...

WOOHOO! Yay TIFF! enjoy!

Kenji Fujishima said...

Indeed! Are you seeing anything during the festival at all? (Any interest in maybe meeting up or something?)