Film Scouts Diaries

1996 Toronto Film Festival Diaries
Day 0

by Henri Béhar

Toronto, September 4, 1996

It's only on paper that the Toronto Festival officially kicks off tomorrow. In reality, for the last three weeks, there have been press screenings back-to-back; in reality, most of those that attended the Montreal Festival segued directly into Toronto: filmmakers from Latin America or Asia (who don't have a daily flight back and forth) and filmgoers - press et al - who couldn't face post-Labor Day madness in US airports and roads.

So luncheons, dinners, faux brunches and informal parties spring up almost spontaneously. For the last two years, the quasi-official pre-opening pour takes place at the Old Mill, on the edge of town.

A splendid place, that, and a landmark, run by the man who used to manage the Sutton Place Hotel, the Festival's headquarters till last year. (It's relocated to the Sheraton Hotel on Queen - not the wisest move: it's like going from a cozy chateau to a super-mall).

Supposedly everyone is there - unfortunately not everyone is. True, this is the Sponsors' Soiree, but the guest list has been so trimmed that whichever way you turn, all you see is sponsors being corporate, whereas the miracle of the Toronto Festival was, au contraire, its informal mixture of money people and artists (filmmakers and programmers). "Is this a festival gathering or a Wall Street meeting?" wondered a young kazillionnaire - yes there is such a thing, Virginia, and this one had quite an Errol Flynn-like dash.

Lets hope things improve when the Festival starts.

Next Installment

Back to Toronto Film Festival Diaries

Look for Search Tips

Copyright 1994-2008 Film Scouts LLC
Created, produced, and published by Film Scouts LLC
Film Scouts® is a registered trademark of Film Scouts LLC
All rights reserved.

Suggestions? Comments? Fill out our Feedback Form.