Sunday, September 14, 2014

Lazy Sunday # 341: The Masterclass

Another Toronto International Film Festival has drawn to a close, debuting most of the films that will vie for awards during the winter to come.

Aggravating and elitist as it has become over the years, I’ve always had a soft spot for TIFF. I had a film in the very first one. Back when the biggest celebrity they could convince to attend was Wilt Chamberlain.

But from the start the festival’s true affection for films and filmmakers was obvious. And so in its early years, I always made sure I’d saved enough money to take the week days of the Festival off as well as afford one of the Industry passes that got you in to see every single film and entree to most of the parties.

When times got flush I became a patron, by then the only way to assure you could view the films really you wanted to see.

But while most now know the Fest for its red carpet mobs and glittering premieres, it has another aspect that is far more valuable to those who love or aspire to create film –- the industry seminars.

These may be the hardest tickets to get your hands on, for they offer the chance to talk movies with those either famous for or about to be recognized for making them.

This is where the great minds of cinema as well as the hucksters gather to map the coming trends in making movies and remember the great moments from its past.

And TIFF has come a long way since the year you attended the screenwriting seminar and got –- me. This year’s seminars featured in depth discussions on craft, distribution and funding as well as a litany of famous actors, writers and directors revealing their personal creative process.

And now, TIFF has put all of these seminars up on Youtube for those who couldn’t physically or financially be there in person. You can find them here.

And as a taste of what’s in store, what follows is this year’s Masterclass featuring director Barry Levinson.

Enjoy Your Sunday.

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