Happy Birthday, TIFF! A Film Watcher's Guide to Multicultural Films at Your Library

September 16, 2015 | Iana

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The Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) is turning 40 years this month! It has been the major cultural event every fall in Toronto in recent decades and one of the most prestigious film festivals in the world. There is a feeling of glamour and fashion during the ten days of the festival while so many famous actors, directors and film industry professionals are in town to promote their movies.


TIFF logoYesterday I took a stroll downtown in order to feel the excitement of the film festival and found this beautiful TIFF logo just next to Metro Hall. What a great spot to pose for a picture this week!

In 2010, TIFF opened the spectacular TIFF Bell Lightbox - its new headquarters at the corner of King St. and John St. in the heart of the "Entertainment District" in downtown Toronto. Since then most of the buzz of activities, film screenings, galas and celebrity watching have moved to this part of King St.


TIFF red carpet Metro HallI snapped this picture of one of the red carpets, right next to Metro Hall yesterday, where actors and filmmakers were walking and being cheered before presenting their film. Some Toronto film fans are known to take a week off every year in mid-September in order to attend the film festival full-time and enjoy great cinema. There is a whole festival subculture of "doing TIFF" the right way - strategies for selecting films and buying tickets, hanging out in rush lines for tickets, volunteering, blogging, catching sights of celebrities, how to eat, party, and make the best of TIFF.


But TIFF isn't just about  the glamour of celebrities. It is about the magic of watching world class feature films and documentaries from more than 70 countries!

For those film-loving Torontonians who are not able to attend the famous festival or for those who can't get enough of great films - Toronto Public Library offers a diverse and free collection of thousands of international films across the world, in many languages. Many of the TIFF festival screenings through the years have been purchased by the library on DVD. 

Below you can download (in PDF) a recommended three-part Film Watcher's Guide to Multicultural Films, compiled by my library colleague Sam who has a great passion for cinema:

  • TPL NEW MULTICULTURAL FILMS LIST III (edition 2015) - about 150 title suggestions, the majority of which have been screened at TIFF from 2010-2014. In addition there are other world cinema titles that the library owns.


DVDs can be placed on hold and borrowed for one week with your library card (and renewed up to two times if there are no holds). Please note that some of the titles, if they are newly added to the library system, cannot be placed on hold for the first six months in the library collection, but can still be borrowed in person from the library.


Here is a selection from the 2015 list. Download the full lists for more titles!

Woman gun noodle soup Waltz with Bashir Manuscripts don't burn Polytechnique


Living is easy with eyes closed LunchboxPussy Riot A Punk PrayerBarbara


How to search the library for multicultural movies in your language:

  1. Go to www.torontopubliclibrary.ca
  2. Click on "Advanced" (located right beside the Search button on the top right hand of your screen)
  3. In the "Type" field on the left hand side of your screen, click on "Movies and Videos"
  4. In the "Language" field on the bottom left hand side of your screen, click on your language of choice .
  5. Click "Search".

TIFF Logo 2015
[Photo credit: Elaisha Jade]


Happy 40th birthday to Toronto International Film Festival and enjoy the great multicultural films that are available at your local library! While the festival only goes for ten days every year in September, Toronto Public Library offers free access to the best of the world cinema, including films in many languages, all year around, and in the comfort of your home! 


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