Deccan Chronicle

Tiff opens, beams on thousands of laptops globally

Journalist­s are watching digital screenings, virtual red carpets in their pyjamas due to Covid


The annual Toronto Internatio­nal Film Festival (Tiff), which serves as the diving board for big Hollywood and European films eying the Oscars, opened on Wednesday on a thousand laptop-screens across the world.

The 45th edition of Tiff is the first of its kind — a hybrid in the times of Coronaviru­s.

Every September, Tiff, which rolls out the red carpet on Toronto’s buzzy King Street to welcome 400-odd films and their creators, actors, has this year split between screenings in cinema halls, and “outdoor screenings” in Toronto’s two drive-in venues.

Film journalist­s from across the world, who are usually in attendance, are taking part in the festival virtually, watching digital screenings, virtual red carpet events in their pyjamas.

“We began this year planning for a 45th festival much like our previous editions,” said the festival’s artistic director Cameron Bailey, “but along the way we had to rethink just about everything. This year’s lineup reflects that tumult”. It’s true.

The 11-day festival opened on Thursday with Spike Lee’s American Utopia, and the closing film, or well series, will be a taste of Mira Nair’s A Suitable Boy (an adapta

tion of Vikram Seth’s 1993 novel).

Tiff, considered the most

middle brow of the Big 4 internatio­nal film festivals (amongst the high-brow

Cannes, Venice and Berlin), is the most inclusive, democratic film festivals. Of all the films it’s showing this year, 43 per cent are directed, co-directed or created by women, and 49 per cent are directed, codirected, or created by Black, Indigenous or POC (people of colour).

There is One Night in Miami, Regina King’s film about a young Muhammad Ali, actress Halle Berry’s directoria­l debut, Bruised, Ricky Staub’s Concrete Cowboy starring the Covidrecov­ered Idris Elba, and Francis Lee’s Ammonite starring Kate Winslet.

And there is, of course, Chaitanya Tamhane’s Marathi film, The Disciple.

If there is a god of film festivals, it is Serendipit­y. Because that’s all that can explain why my very first film at Tiff on Thursday was the delightful, peppy, Tove. A Finnish film written and directed by two women — Eeva Putro and Zaida Bergroth, respective­ly — Tove tells the story of the Helsinki-based author and illustrato­r, Tove Jansson (played with both verve and affecting vulnerabil­ity by Alma Poysti).

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 ??  ?? Alma Poysti as Tove Jansson in Finnish film
Alma Poysti as Tove Jansson in Finnish film Tove.

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