Monday, September 14, 2009

Film Fest Takes Over Toronto

Every year at this time, Canada’s largest city goes star-crazy.

The Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) is in full swing, and big-name and no-name celebrities are wandering city streets, to promote their latest movies. George Clooney, Angelina Jollie and her guy pal Brad Pitt have all been at TIFF.

TIFF is a great opportunity to see movies normally not shown in th

Box office at the Manulife Centre for the Toro...Image via Wikipedia

eatres – though many make their debut at film fests such as TIFF, or Cannes.

TIFF has an amazing reputation, for showcasing some of the best films from around the world. Last year’s “Slum Dog Millionaire” premiered at TIFF, and later went on to win the Best Picture Oscar.

But the real news makers from TIFF are all those celebrity sightings.

People stand outside five-star hotels downtown, hoping to catch a glimpse of some Hollywood heart throb. Hundreds of fans crowd red carpet strewn TIFF hotspots, waiting for the limos to arrive, the door to open up, and to see their movie star step out and onto the red carpet. What usually happens, the body guards hop out first, rushing the celebrities through the crowd and into the very secluded VIP sections, long before anyone can see ‘em.

Actress Angelina Jolie and Actor Brad PittImage via Wikipedia

Even the local media gets involved, most Toronto-area television stations are pumping messages about how YOU – yes YOU – can be a reporter, by snapping images or video of celebrities, and uploading these to their websites.

If I was a celebrity attending TIFF, I’d get a mask, dark glasses, and a wig to hide from the hordes of fanatics (where the word “fan” originally comes from) pushing and shoving their way to get a picture or video for the evening news.

TIFF used to be about the movies. Interesting, independent films, on topics far flung from the typical chic-flicks, horrors, or comedies which the big movie companies just wouldn’t produce. They didn’t have enough sex and violence to make them profitable.

These days, TIFF is about chasing George Clooney through a crowded shopping mall, to catch him in an uncomfortable and awkward situation which may get the person shooting the video more attention than the star.

TORONTO, ON - SEPTEMBER 12:  Actor George Cloo...Image by Getty Images via Daylife

Clooney is pretty good at handling those situations. There was a well publicized incident, where a man goes up to a microphone in an audience, to ask questions of the star during a media event. The man began to take off all his clothes, leaving just his ball cap and boxers on, announcing to the world that he was in love with George Clooney, and asking his idol what he thought about him.

Clooney remained calm, laughed it off, and let the security guards get the man out of the room without anything really going amuck.

But the local media doesn’t help, encouraging people to go out and shoot a star. Wouldn’t surprise me if that in fact happens one day, and then TIFF will be known for something other than the celebrities, but for the crazy gun wielding Toronto fans.

Grab your bullet-proof vest George – its “magic” time.

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