July 31, 2008

Covering TIFF

Tuesday night I received official word that I'll have full press credentials for TIFF this year, which will be a first for me. The confirmation email mentioned where and when to pick up the pass (Sutton Place Hotel, beginning on 9/3) but didn't offer any insights into how the process works. I'm planning to attend public screenings, for the most part, but I'll balance out my schedule with press screenings, and I'm hoping to pick up a few interviews along the way.

I've already picked up some tips from friends, but I'm looking for more advice from press veterans:

  • When is the schedule of press screenings typically announced?
  • How much time should I allow between press screenings? Are there lines?
  • How do I schedule interviews? I've already exchanged emails with the press representative for the Wavelengths program. Can I assume the other programs have similar people whose job it is to coordinate interviews?
  • Any TIFF-specific interviewing advice? How early should I arrive? Can I expect them to be on schedule? How much time am I likely to get with a filmmaker? I assume this varies according to the level of buzz/celebrity?
  • Any favorite stories from past TIFFs?
  • Other advice?


Shannon the Movie Moxie said...

Congratulations on getting accredited, that is excellent news! I'll be very interested in hearing your opinion of that side of the fest.

Grease1739 said...

Congratulations! That sounds like it should be an interesting experience. As far as advice, I have no idea, but I am curious how you got the credentials. Do you freelance write on the side?

Darren said...

Yeah, I do quite a bit of freelance writing. Dan Sallitt, who usually covers TIFF for Senses of Cinema, won't be able to attend this year, so I'm going to do my best to fill his shoes.

A couple people have contacted me through email, offering advice and suggestions. The general consensus seems to be that press screenings are much more convenient. They're centrally located, and lines, if they exist at all, move pretty quickly since there are no tickets involved. One friend takes more risks when he has a pass because he's much more likely to slip into a theater at the last minute and doesn't mind getting up and leaving if the film doesn't work for him.

Several people have warned me, though, that press audiences are typically much less attentive (texting, talking, etc.) and much more cynical. That's why I plan to stick mostly with public screenings.

I suspect interviewing will stress me out a bit, which is why I intend to target only a few favorite filmmakers.

Greg said...

Congrats! 8-) -- please let us know when you post your reviews/interviews, so we can add a link to them at TOfilmfest.com ... 8-)

James McNally said...

I suspect that you'll be contacted by a lot of the press agents now that the accredited list will be available to them, but if you want to be proactive, you can contact some of these local folks, who usually rep a bunch of films (not sure which ones this year):

V Kelly & Associates
416-466-9799, info@vkpr.ca

Stephen Lan

Ingrid Hamilton, GAT