"We have a mission statement: to transform the way people see the world through film."
- Cameron Bailey, Artistic Director, TIFF
Films from 70 countries are being screened at this year's Toronto International Film Festival.
You can see the world and stay in town.
The TIFF website has a full list of all the films playing, but here is just a small sample of what is being screened:
The Past by Asghar Farhadi (Iran/France)
Cold Eyes by Cho Ui-seok and Kim Byung-seo (South Korea)
Ida by Pawel Pawlikowski (Poland)
The Lunchbox by Ritesh Batra (India)
Rags and Tatters by Ahmad Abdalla (Egypt)
Border by Alessio Cremonini (Syria)
Half a Yellow Sun by Biyi Bandele (Nigeria)
The Major by Yuri Bykov (Russia)
The Dinner by Menno Meyjes (The Netherlands)
Trap Street by Vivian Qu (China)
Of Good Report by Jahmil X. T. Qubeka (South Africa)
For Those Who Can Tell No Tales by Jasmila Zbanic (Bosnia and Herzegovina)
As big as the festival is, it is still possible to get tickets to many films. If you have the time and don't mind standing in line, you can even purchase last-minute "rush" tickets. Rush tickets are sold just before the film starts based on the number of empty seats. The rush line is a natural meeting place for people who might share your taste in films, and it's a great place to get tips and suggestions. Once, a long time ago while standing in a rush line, someone told me about a film called The Jar. I decided to go see it. That charming little film about a school teacher in a small village sparked my interest in Iranian films.
If you can't make it to TIFF this year, Toronto Public Library has thousands of DVDs for borrowing. Many of our titles were screened at past festivals.
Here's a scene from The Jar, the film that made me fall in love with Iranian films. Take a chance and see a film from a country you might know very little about. It could start a love affair.