University of Toronto

Innis Alumni & Friends

CSI Community Members Discuss TIFF 2015

By Sarah Markarian, Fourth Year Innis College Student 

The Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), one of the largest film festivals in the country, and some might say in the world, took place in the first week of September right here in the heart of Toronto. The festival unites many different countries, genres, and people. Since the Cinema Studies Institute at Innis College is celebrating its 40th anniversary, we asked esteemed students, alumni, and faculty from our community to answer a few questions about TIFF 2015.

TIFF is all about movies. Over 300 films are screened at TIFF from over 50 different countries, so we wanted to know which films members of the Innis community were most excited to see again.

 “Charlotte Pryce’s Prima Materia and also Mr. Right” – Michael Zryd, Cinema Studies Alumn

Land of Mine, 11 Minutes, and The Danish Girl” – Trevor Wang, 2014 Innis College and Cinema Studies Alumn

“I’m most looking forward to seeing Duke Johnson and Charlie Kaufman’s Anomalisa”– Elspeth Arbow, 3rd Year Cinema Studies Student

Photo Credit Trevor Wang

Photo Credit Trevor Wang

“I am most eager to see The Assassin and Jia’s Even the Mountains Depart and Laurie Anderson’s Life of a Dog” Bart Testa, Cinema Studies Professor

What makes TIFF unique? How does it compare to other film festivals?

Elspeth Arbow, 3rd year Cinema Studies Student and CINSSU Senior Programmer, explains that everyone attending TIFF shares the same passion: movies.

“Whether you’re catching a screening or volunteering, a movie fan or a movie star, everyone who attends the festival shares the same passion for film. It’s also an extremely accessible festival; there’s something for everybody.”

Elspeth further explained that one of her favorite speakers from TIFF, CSI faculty member and TIFF Artistic Director, Cameron Bailey reminded her of how important the world of cinema really is:

“Bailey’s unrelenting passion for great films is something of an inspiration for me as a Cinema Studies student; he once told me to “keep my faith in the power of movies””

There is no doubt that TIFF is a diverse festival, CSI alum, Trevor Wang, shed some light on how TIFF brings people from different cultures and backgrounds together:

“TIFF is unique in the sense that it brings the best of international films together to showcase contemporary world cinema, transcending geographical boundaries, ethnic differences and language barriers. It allows both independent and established filmmakers to present their artworks to a global audience. It is more diverse than other film festivals.”

For more TIFF recap, be sure to check out Innis Alumna Chandler Levack’s blog segment about TIFF on the Torontoist.

You can also register for this upcoming event to learn more about TIFF and U of T.