Toronto Film Festival – A Personal History

I thought it would be fun to recall my past experiences with the film festival, before I go see “Revolver” tommorow.

Film Festival Freshman
OK, in 2003 I promised myself that I was going to go to the film festival. However, I was a little naive to how the system works.

I went down to the box office, two days into the festival, expecting to get tickets for two movies I handpicked to see (28 Grams and Shattered Glass). However, the big white board that lists the films, had all the screenings for the film crossed out (meaning all advance tickets were sold out, though there was still the possibility of last minute seats being available in the “Rush Line,” just before the screening).

Well, I panicked and I tried, without the help of film descriptions, to find replacement films to get tickets for. I finally found that there were tickets available for “School of Rock,” so I got that, as well as a ticket to a collection of short films called “The Project.”

Sophomore with a plan
Last year, I was more experience in the methods. First, I looked up EVERY film I was remotely interested in and I decided to get the tickets online the day individual tickets went on sale.

Ordering online was an interesting experience. First, some films on my list (like Sideways) were already sold out when I went to order. Some films (like the Canadian-film “Phil the Alien”) sold out WHILE I was making my order. In the end, I ended up with tickets for “Kung Fu Hustle” and, the Colin Firth thriller, Trauma.

Everything would have been ok, except I received a phone call, the night before the screening, that “Kung Fu Hustle” was being cancelled due to the film reel being damaged (I would later see the film during it’s regular run).

As for Trauma, while it was neat seeing a film in the historic Elgin Theatre, it was a little too on the dark and disturbing side.

This Year
The only glitch I had this year was a busy server for online orders. I had to wait a full day to get my ticket. Lucky for me, quite a few of my choices were still available (though my first choice, Shopgirl, was long sold out). Hopefully, there will be no problems as I go to see “Revolver” tommorow afternoon at the Ryerson Theatre.

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Sean Kelly Author

Sean Patrick Kelly is a self-described über-geek, who has been an avid film lover for all his life. He graduated from York University in 2010 with an honours B.A. in Cinema and Media Studies and he likes to believe he knows what he’s talking about when he writes about film (despite occasionally going on pointless rants).