It is always tempting to try to rank things, including film festivals. A few years ago in an indieWIRE lineup story we posed that Toronto may be the 2nd most important film festival in the world. As I think about it today... from my perspective it actually shares the #1 title with Cannes and Sundance. Not that its risen or the others have fallen, I simply feel they are of equal stature, but each serving different purposes. All three are vital.
Toronto is both exciting and daunting in that it presents an impossible number of movies and draws huge crowds. Covering the fest is intimidating because half the time it can be hard to know which direction to look, whereas at in Park City and on the Croisette, there is a bit more focus.
This year in Toronto should be particularly interesting, because as Noah Cowan explained to me yesterday for our indieWIRE lineup article, the fest has a serious, political tone. His comments were quite direct on the matter and, in labeling the movies "aestheticaly challenging," he is going out on a limb to declare the probable beginning of, "a real golden age for American cinema in a time of war and strife." That sets the bar quite high.
Will it deliver? I'm looking forward to finding out... (and I expect to get a bit of a preview next week in Telluride.)