TIFF 2022 – Day One
by Thom Ernst – Film Correspondent
(September 8, 2022 – Toronto,ON) TIFF’s unofficial kick-off happened last night at the TFCA Critical Drinking Party. The event technically is to welcome visiting film critics both international and domestic. But the doors weren’t closed to a host of Canadian filmmakers who showed up to celebrate their films.
In attendance was film critic turned director Chandler Levack surrounding herself with colleagues in an event that is understood as a truce-fire between critics and filmmakers. With Levack was Canadian producer Lindsay Blair Goeldner and actor Krista Bridges. All promises I made to myself to remain professional and not gush over Levak’s film and Bridges’ performance dissolved minutes into our conversation.
Other Canadian artists to arrive: Director Joseph Amenta (Soft), Brian D. Johnson (Colour of Ink), actors Heidi von Palleske, Peter Outerbridge and from Canadian icon Don Shebib’s latest film, actor Al Mukadam. Also present was 2021 TIFF favourites, Sasha Nakhai and Rich Williams (Scarborough).
Canadian Films and Events:
In a single screening presentation, The Handmaid’s Tale, the first two episodes of Season 5, is on at 5 p.m. at the TIFF Bell Lightbox. It seems odd to have a television series as part of a film festival, odder still when that series is already in its 5th season. Actor Elisabeth Moss directs and stars alongside Max Mionghella, Bradley Whitford and Ann Dowd. No actual review to offer as the press screening comes after the public screening. Maybe I’ll catch this one after the festival.
Also screening tonight is the highly anticipated Buffy Sainte-Marie documentary, Buffy Sainte-Marie: Carry On. But hold on, Buffy will be playing live for free at 7 p.m. at the Slaight Music Stage. Yes, she’s performing live. Yes, it’s free.
The documentary, directed by Madison Thomas, screens at 8:30 p.m. at TIFF Bell Lightbox. Miss it tonight and you can catch it Friday September 9, 5:30 p.m. at the Scotiabank Theatre Toronto, and again on Saturday September 17, 12:00 p.m. also at Scotiabank Theatre.
Tomorrow is a big day for Canadian film. Budding filmmakers and veterans alike will take note of TIFF’s CONNECTION series “How to Access Telefilm Funding.” The panel discussion (no doubt with an audience Q&A to follow) begins at 1:30 p.m. in the Canadian Broadcasting Centre.
Buffy Sainte-Marie: Carry On, carries on at 5:30 p.m. at Scotiabank Theatre Toronto.
Chandler Levak’s I Like Movies, already being touted as a festival must-see will screen at 6:15 p.m. at the Scotiabank Theatre.
Rosie, feature debut of Metis writer and director (who also acts), Gail Maurice is screening at 6:15 p.m. at the Scotiabank Theatre.
At 6:30, director Clement Virgo presents his film, Brother, at the Visa Screening Room at the Princess of Wales Theatre.
Director Joseph Amenta’s drama Soft (title recently changed from the more interesting, but perhaps tougher to sell, Pussy) screens at 6:30 p.m. at Scotiabank Theatre.
This Place will screen at 8:45 p.m. at the Scotiabank Theatre.
And Ever Deadly, a part concert film, part documentary, about celebrated Inuit throat singer, Tanya Tagaq, who also co-directs with Chelsea McMullan. Screening is at 9:30 p.m. at Scotiabank Theatre.
Thom Ernst is a Toronto based film critic and writer and an active member of the (TFCA) Toronto Film Critics’ Association. His work has appeared in various publications including Playback Magazine, The Toronto Star, and The National Post. He is known to CBC Radio listeners for his lively contributions to Fresh Air, Metro Morning, and CBC Syndication as well as appearing on-air for CTV News Channel and The Agenda with Steve Paikin. He was host, interviewer and producer of televisions’ longest running movie program Saturday Night at the Movies. Currently he can be heard interviewing Canadian filmmakers on the Kingston Canadian Film Festival podcast, Rewind, Fast-Forward.