Off to Toronto early tomorrow and I am excited, but I ALREADY have reason to gripe (sue me, I can bitch too!)... The structure of the press/industry screening schedule is really frustrating, and mostly its because the programmers have done such a fantastic job. There is so much I want to see that my current plans have to include leaving films early and running to other films. Not ideal. Also, the fact that so many high profile foreign and indie films are receiving only one screening is understandable, but very very frustrating, particularly since the screenings end so early in the day. As I said, understandable. But I am a glutton and want to devour everything.
The most frustrating aspect of this year's schedule is the front-loading of the schedule with all of the films I am most anticipating playing in the first three days, many right on top of one another. Then I look at films near the end of the festival, and they are primarily Canadian features... not that there is anything wrong with that, but I don't know why someone couldn't break up some of these blocks of films by more evenly balancing the schedule across the week. As a programmer myself, I know how hard it is to please all of your masters. But it is disappointing to book airfare and hotel, only to find very little to scout later in the week.
No matter though. I am ready to dive in, have my vitamins and clothes ready to go, and am thrilled to visit my first Toronto International Film Festival. Good luck to the staff and crew, and let's roll!
P.S. I'll be blogging the fest... I hope I can find a good wireless connection in Toronto. Any thoughts?