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TIFF – The festival of festivals

 

So, here I am, waiting for the last film at Toronto International Film festival this year.
 
It’s been a blast, a busy week with up to seven films per day, good ones and disappointing ones, documentaries and fiction. The Kosmorama-team has watched films from all over the world.
 
As always I have, just by coincidence, seen films that have given me new knowledge and perspectives. Other films I have tried to see because I knew something about them before I came here, others again I chose because the rumours told they were good
 
TIFF states that their goal is to create a more informed, engaged an connected world. I think they live up to the ambition.

This year I will for instance be more interested in the election in Liberia than before, watching the documentary “Silas” about the activist  Silas who stands up against the authorities and the multinational companies who bribe their way to take over the land in Liberia. Still the film gives us, the audience, hope. The film shows that when local people organise their protests, they can achieve a lot. In January Silas’ goal is to be elected to the parliament. After watching the film I certainly hope he will continue to make a difference, also in that political arena.

Another interesting aspect of this years edition of the festival is the many films with stories told from the viewpoint of a minority e.g gender, ethnical or political. Some stories are difficult to follow if you don’t know enough about the context, while the best ones hit a more universal chord. I was quite taken by the French film BPM, set in France in the early 80’s when activists worked hard to raise awareness about the HIV-virus and urged the politicians to do more to stop the epidemia and give more resources to research to find better medicines.

Most films I have seen this year have a serious theme, but we have also experienced the festive in the festival.

The first few days a lot of stars came to TIFF promoting their films. I cought a glimpse of Lady Gaga, another colleauge almost bumped in to Angelina Jolie. I tend to think that I am not a typical fan chasing celebrities, but it is of course fun standing in a crowd, experience the excitement and the buzz: “Lady Gaga will be here in a few minutes”, and seconds later “there she is”. I think most of the crowd saw her through the camera on the telephone…and so did I.

This is the third year in a row we have come to Toronto. It is nice to feel a tiny bit local: we have some favourite coffee shops where we get our caffeine to last through the long days in the cinema theatres. Also, I treat myself with a manicure each time I am here. When the lady in the shop recognized me from last year, it really made my day! We love TIFF and Toronto – we look forward to 2018!

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