Lights, Camera, TIFF!

The Toronto International Film Festival is running now until September 17, in all its technicolor brilliance. It is as if Torontonians have been transported to a kind of Hollywood safari, where film star sightings, usually rare, are the norm during the month of September.

To add to the positive energy and excitement about this years festival, it appears that many of the celebrities such as Nicole Kidman, George Clooney, Canada’s own Rachel McAdams and many more A-Listers taking part, have been incredibly gracious and accessible in having their pictures taken and signing autographs for adoring fans and filmgoers alike.

TIFF started forty years ago, and has blossomed into one of the most prestigious and renowned film festivals, and has been recognized worldwide for its importance to the business of filmmaking. It “is dedicated to presenting the best of International and Canadian cinema to film lovers.”

The TIFF Bell Lightbox occupies an entire city block in the heart of Toronto’s media and entertainment district. All spaces, including the cinemas, are wheelchair accessible to the public. Find us in Reitman Square: 350 King Street West.”

Another resource is The Film Reference Library (FRL), which “is the ultimate resource for filmmakers, students, researchers, screenwriters, and film and television professionals.” And for those film buffs who want to take a little Hollywood magic home, there is a wonderful gift shop, also located at the Bell Lightbox.

As a “premier cultural institution,” the festival offers screenings, lectures, workshops as well as valuable opportunities to meet filmmakers, for those young dreamers who have the desire to become filmmakers themselves. This year’s focus has in fact, been on women directors, screenwriters and actresses wanting to make their mark in the industry, as criticism continues to swirl around the idea that making films is still very much a male-dominated industry.

One such female director is Turkish-French Deniz Gamze Erguven, who is presenting her film “Kings,” that focuses on the 1992 race riots, and stars the stunning Halle Barry and James Bond himself, the debonair Daniel Craig. It is “slated for release this fall.” Another incredibly glamorous woman attending this year is the ever-glowing Angelina Jolie who executive-produced the award-winning animated film“The Breadwinner,” originally a book written by Canadian award-winning author, Deborah Ellis.

One of the more commercially viable films with Hollywood heavyweights behind it includes: “Suburbicon,” which is about “ a peaceful, idyllic, suburban community with affordable homes and manicured lawns — the perfect place to raise a family, and in the summer of 1959, the Lodge family is doing just that. But the tranquil surface masks a disturbing reality, as husband and father Gardner Lodge must navigate the town’s dark underbelly of betrayal, deceit, and violence.”

The film stars, Matt Damon and Julianne Moore, directed by George Clooney. The screenplay was written by Clooney, the Coen Brothers (Ethan and Joel), and Grant Heslov. All the information for schedules and events is here:

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