Daily Archives: September 14, 2011

film festing

my third year of university was spent in the hinterlands town of chicoutimi, québec where i lived for eight months. in order to fully benefit from my immersion experience, my friend cathy and i enthusiastically participated in as many cultural activities as we could. (plus, being busy staved off homesickness). one of our best ideas was to sign up for the chicoutimi ciné-club. each monday evening, we gathered in the auditorium of the local cégèp where we watched the film of the week. some of the movies were french in origin, but most of them were english, dubbed over into french. i don’t remember too many specific movie titles – the only one that sticks in my head is david cronenberg’s naked lunch – > perhaps the most bizarre movie i have ever seen. it would be classified as whacked *out there* seen in english – now imagine it in french!

ciné-club in chicoutimi was my initiation into movies other than hollywood mainstream fare. when i returned home to kitchener-waterloo, i started going to see movies at the princess and that cinema remains a favourite to this day (plus, now it’s in my ‘hood!).

with unlimited time and resources, here is what one of my dream new experiences would be: spend 2-3 days in toronto, attending tiff. i have never seen a movie at the toronto international film festival, despite repeatedly saying that i’m going to go some time. well, some time is still as far as i’ve gotten with this item on my life’s bucket list.


tiff is one of the top film events in the world. celebrities flock to toronto during the festival (this year it’s running from september 8th-18th) – i love reading the toronto newspapers and seeing which celebs are here, where they’re eating/shopping/staying, who’s partying til 3 a.m. and who’s being a grumpy recluse.

madge was at tiff on monday! here's the photo from the globe and mail...i read that festival volunteers were told to TURN THEIR BACKS to her as she red carpet walked! attitude much?!

besides the potential of hob-nobbing with the rich and famous [ok, even a sighting of george clooney’s shoulder or tilda swinson’s foot would greatly please me!] i love independent films, and tiff showcases some real winners every year. remember slumdog millionaire? it rose to fame thanks to tiff. and little miss sunshine can credit it’s rave reviews to the warm reception it received at…tiff!

here’s the globe and mail’s list of 10 films to see this year at tiff. it’ll be interesting to see if one of them becomes a smash hit!

my pick!…


because of…



so, yes, some year, it will work for me to view a whole bunch of films at tiff. until then, i will content myself with devouring the newspaper coverage…and frequenting the princess as much as possible!


waterloo riverview dharma centre

8th annual buddhist film festival

speaking of film festivals, there’s a local film festival that has interested me for the past few years, too. my neighbour stephen always puts up this poster in our condo building:

to expand on the information you see above (a little hard to read?! magnifying glass, anyone?!), this festival, hosted by the waterloo riverview dharma centre, will be held on saturday, november 5th  from 4-9:30 p.m.

this link – waterloo buddhist film festival will give you a clear synopsis of each movie, and provide full details on how to get your tickets. mark your agenda, buy your tickets, plan to attend!!


waterloo region has a few film festivals throughout the year:

grand river film festival

waterloo festival for animated cinema

focus 4 film festival

children’s film festival

[i had no clue so many options existed ’til i googled! wow!]

maybe i should start small and stay local by attending one of these before i jump to tiff!

hey! i just remembered – i did attend the banff film festival wayyyy back about 17 years ago when it made its annual tour to waterloo! ok, so i have started small. i am ready for tiff!

who would you wait hours to see walk the red carpet? me: for sure george clooney and madonna. i’m not a brad pitt fan so can’t say i’d be willing to stand around to see him.

have you ever met a movie celebrity? we were in downtown toronto one september when tiff was going on. i saw a group of people milling about where a red-carpet was set up, along with some outdoor tents. rumour was that matt damon would be arriving shortly for a one x one charity event. we did hang around for nearly an hour before matt arrived. and, true to form, i only saw the top of his head!