(A very late) What I Saw @ TIFF’16

Better late than never, right?
screen-shot-2017-02-12-at-9-33-23-pmDon’t know if this still counts for 5 months late, but here we are.

I wanted to write this more for the sake of having it up and as I hopefully keep up writing for this website, I want to keep records for each year.
2016 was my first time attending TIFF, and technically my first film festival. (I saw I See the Light at the Atlantic Film Festival in 2015, but I’d barely call that a festival) So this was quite an exciting time for me.

It wasn’t the greatest timing for me though, so it did affect what options I had for which movies I could see – I had just moved to Toronto 5 days before it started, and my first week of classes also occurred during the week of all the films I saw. It probably wasn’t the greatest decision, but it was worth it. I also didn’t know anyone, so it was a lot of boring 2 hour waits in line alone before the line was let into the theatre, but that didn’t bother me much. It’s nice to now know that for next year I will have people I can go with.

My week: I saw a movie every night from the 12th – 18th, except on the 16th. I bought my tickets in person when they went on sale at the box office (waited in line for a nice 3 hours). I had a list of movies I wanted to see, and as I was in line I realized a few would be sold out as they were more popular films (La La Land, Magnificent Seven, It’s Only the End of the World, etc.), so as I stood in line I scrolled through the film list and picked a few backups and tried to organize the times around my classes. I actually just found the list I had written before hand, keep in mind I had no clue what I was doing really, I had no experience with this stuff:

Sunday Sept 11 —> its only the end of the world 9:15pm  

Monday Sept 12 —> La La Land (premiere) 6:15pm  

Wednesday Sept 14 —> Christine 6:15pm  

Thursday Sept 15 —> Burn Your Maps 6:00pm 

Sunday Sept 18th—> The Edge of Seventeen 12:00  

My sadness when I finally got to the counter to buy my tickets and they told me Its Only the End of the World didn’t have any tickets left was immense. But thank god for the Tiff Bell Lightbox because I got to see it about a week after the festival ended! (see my review here) Of course La La Land sold out, but I was expecting that (I got a story about la la land a bit later in this post thats actually pretty lucky)

I also had my list for my backups:

bleed for this – saturday the 17, 2:45

queen of katwe – Saturday the 17, 3:00 

birth of a nation – saturday the 17, 3:00 

nocturnal animals – sat the 17, 5:45 

brain on fire – fri the 16, 6:00 

I didn’t actually see any of these films during the festival…

So what I DID see:
img_2733Busters Mal Heart  

– This was a super lucky, VERY last minute pick. Rami Malek is my favourite actor and I was compeltely unaware that he had a film playing until 2 minutes before I got to the ticket counter and I scrolled one last time through the film list and saw his face on the photo for this movie. I bought a ticket without looking up anything about it. I gave it 4 stars on my letterboxd. I might do a full review of this one, but overall incredible acting by Malek and directing by Sarah Adina Smith.

Two Lovers and a Bear 

– Picked this one because I am also a big fan of Dane Dehaan and Tatiana Maslany. A lot of my picks were based off actors I liked because I had not been keeping up enough with the festival circuit enough to pick based off their reception. Gave this one 3/5 stars, could possibly be 2.5 stars now that I think about it, but I will be rewatching it. It’s interesting and has its good moments, but some scenes weren’t so great. mixed feelings.


– This was the only film I think that I picked based off hearing about it from a previous festival. I heard about Christine when it played at Sundance, and for some reason I hadn’t forgotten about it once the films playing at TIFF were announced. Unfortunately, it was my most disappointing movie of the festival. Maybe I should stick to a more random film picking system?

Burn Your Maps 

– I don’t really remember why I picked this film. Probably, once again, because the actors. I, along with the rest of the universe, love Jacob Tremblay, and because I’m also a big Bates Motel fan, I was sold by the fact that Vera Farmiga was also in this one. I really really enjoyed it. Very cute, creative, and heart warming. I think the entire theatre cried at least a little bit. I’d like to add that Jacob Tremblay is even more cute in person than you would expect him to be.

La La Land 

– Ah yes, La La Land, it’s an interesting thing to talk about this film after all the hype it has gotten. Not saying it didn’t deserve it because it did. I died over this film when I saw it at TIFF, and did not shut up about it until I got to see it again at the very end of December. (thanks to Canada, it came out later than expected here) So, as expected, I did not snag a ticket to any of the screenings of this when I originally bought my tickets (hilarious of me to think I could even have a chance of getting that premiere ticket). But I ended up getting very lucky. Tiff added a random extra screening of it at 10am on a saturday. I did not see their tweet about the screening until 2 hours after it was tweeted, and I doubted I’d snag a ticket, but by some miracle I got one. I arrive at the theatre, get into my seat and prepare for what was about to be my favourite movie going experience of my life so far, and lo and behold, Jason Sudeikis comes and sit right in front of me. I had to stop myself from chuckling out loud.

The Edge of Seventeen 

– Last, and certainly not least, this wonderful movie. I also love the fact that I was indeed at the edge of seventeen when I saw this film, a nice little touch. But yes, this movie was fantastic and everything I could have asked from a teen drama. Not much else to say about it rather than It will definitely be a memorable movie, and I will continue to recommend it.

Overall, I had a great time and am very excited for next year. I could only see 6 movies, but any more would have been too much with all my school work. Hopefully will get to see some more at TIFF 2017!


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