Opinion: Film lovers rejoice; TIFF brings great promise

Rachel Godin

Rachel Godin

Rachel Godin is a sophomore journalism major and a columnist for the Daily Kent Stater. She can be reached at [email protected].

Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) wrapped up its 38th year: 366 films, 70 different countries, 146 world premieres. The fest took place in Toronto, Ontario, between September 5 and September 15, where the lineup and audience response seems to promise the U.S. a myriad of incredible films to look forward to.

According to IndieWire, TIFF “was inspired by the festival-of-festivals approach innovated in North America by the sadly long-departed FILMEX (the Los Angeles International Film Exposition), TIFF was originally known as the ‘Toronto Festival of Festivals.’”

The categories are just one element that set TIFF apart, besides the fact that, according to “The Observer,” “Every premiere is open to the public,” and there are “endless volunteers wearing orange T-shirts and game smiles.”

The “auteur” category: the filmmaker’s personal influence and artistic control over a movie were so great that they are regarded as the author of the movie.

The “movie star festival”: Although film celebs aren’t red-roped, the group seems to move in packs. The faces of various well-known Hollywood-goers stood out in their skills among other celebrities in attendance.

The “long movie festival”: Does this need explaining? Just know that the longest film “Norte, The End of History” was 250 minutes long. The director drew inspiration from Dostoevsky’s “Crime and Punishment”, so what are we supposed to do, complain? Thanks to this art form, we can, by all means, drag it out and squeeze out every last ounce of life. At least it got raving reviews!

According to MovieFone, “This year was heavy on the blockbusters and A-listers, but also featured some under-the-radar gems.” “The Square” was winner of best documentary, while “Burning Bush,” “The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby,” “Dallas Buyers’ Club,” “Mandela,” “Kill Your Darlings,” “The Fifth Estate,” “Child of God,” “The Lunchbox,” “The Double,” and “12 Years a Slave” are each examples of the diverse, dazzling pieces in the mosaic table that is the TIFF.

Visual media is quickly becoming our go-to for entertainment, but with so many options online, it’s sometimes difficult to choose worthwhile entertainment. Film festivals, indie or otherwise, offer stars, amateurs, script writers, videographers, artists, musicians and fans, a chance to understand the immense work that goes into filmmaking and appreciate the art before it greets silver screens internationally. Keeping current on the festival outcomes can lead you to inspiration, or simply introduce you to something other than the next convenient click on your Netflix queue.

TIFF has passed, but London is up next to exhibit some of the best films of the year on October 9. Local film fans, you are not forgotten; Columbus International Film & Video Festival kicks off with an early bird viewing of a Syrian documentary on October 1, and Cleveland Film Festival, which drew crowds of 85,000 last year, and recently, according to The Plain Dealer, focuses on films that dwell on feminism, environmentalism, Jewish and Israeli issues, LGBT issues, family-friendly films and films from Central and Eastern Europe.

If festival news isn’t enough for you, there’s a KSU organization that might be your cup of tea. The nationally affiliated Kent State University Independent Films (KSUIF) is in the midst of “Second Time Around”, a mini-series about a graduate student who gets taken back to his first year of college. The executive director of marketing and an electronic media production senior, Buddy Candela, says “There is no film program here yet, but we’re working on it. Students should join our organization because we produce a feature length film every other year. We just shot our feature film this summer, ‘Hell in Heathridge.’” KSUIF works pre-production in the spring, films during the summer, works on post-production in the fall, and premieres with the feature on December 5 in the ballroom.