For many years, I covered the Toronto International Film Festival as a journalist. Covering TIFF, as it is known, involved interviewing filmmakers and actors about their films and, if I was lucky and time allowed, I asked them about the craft of filmmaking. It was a sweet part of my job as an arts producer.
One thing that stood out -- apart from Francis Ford Coppola giving me parenting advice, discovering how friendly Heath Ledger was, and cajoling Jeanne Moreau into wonderful conversation the day after 9/11 -- was talking to film fans.
Even though my press pass gave me access to industry screenings, I met many film lovers in the rush lines. We'd talk about our favourites and the various buzz films. These are the folks who would play hookie from work to catch a film or simply take their vacations to attend the festival.
I vowed to myself that I, too, would do the same: take some vacation time around TIFF so that I could quite simply watch films for the sheer pleasure of it. I'd simply watch movies by filmmakers I admire, or films from interesting parts of the world, or galas, or documentaries, or avant-garde experimental films, or whatever peaked my interest, or whatever I could squeeze into my schedule.
Well, that's what I'm doing this year. Please keep watching this space for updates and reviews. You can also find me on Twitter. I'm @albertwisco.