The Conclusion of the Toronto International Film Festival
The 2018 Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) concluded on September 16, after running for 10 days and screening 267 distinct titles.
Of these titles, 48 were part of the Contemporary World Cinema line-up, which is the division of the festival specially devoted to screening films from all over the world. By comparison, the Gala program, which has been called the festival's “glitziest” line-up by Canadian newspaper The Globe and Mail, contained 20 titles. Thirty countries were represented in the Contemporary World Cinema line-up this year. “Each film in Contemporary World Cinema offers a snapshot of the world and shows the importance of compelling global filmmaking,” said Kerri Craddock, director of festival programming at TIFF. “Together, the films expose the truth, open borders, and captivate audiences with their deep and empowering stories.”
TIFF did not confine its global aspects to just the category designated for them. Complimenting the six films in the festival that were made by Indian filmmakers, the Confederation of Indian Industry and The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting sent a combined group of 15 producers, distributors, studio officials, and directors to TIFF to take part in an India Pavilion from September 8 to 10. The delegation’s goal was to encourage foreign collaboration and strengthen the presence of Indian film overseas.
In TIFF’s first announcement concerning the titles that would be included in the festival, seven films in the Gala and Special Presentations programs would have their international premieres at the festival. Mard Ko Dard Nahi Hota (Vasan Bala, 2018), which was screened in the same segment as Halloween (David Gordon Green, 2018) and The Predator (Shane Black, 2018), won the People’s Choice Midnight Madness Award, the festival’s top award.
The “glitzy” programs don’t draw attention to the fact that these movies are international nor put special focus on foreignness. The purpose is to emphasize that while international, they are just as much a film and art as any native production, and should be watched that way.
The Globe and Mail credited TIFF for showing what true diversity looks with its inclusion of films from around the world. Still, steps must be taken now that the festival is over to drive this point home. Part of the reason films go to festivals is to get exposure and secure distribution for a theatrical release. If true diversity is going to occur, a studio must agree to accept these films and distribute them to as many theaters as possible around the world.
It’s Hollywood’s move now.