I'm a film tourist. I'll be the first to admit it. I'm scared to take the plunge and make my own film. However I am utterly engrossed in film culture. I read the magazines, I follow the twitters and I join the clubs. Film culture can be enjoyed by filmmakers and film lovers alike. They are great avenues for making new friends, networking, and discovering new work that you may enjoy. I'm lucky to live in Toronto which is home to a flourishing film culture.
Here are some of my top 5 film communities and resource providers in the T dot!
Let's start with the most well-known. TIFF is much more than just a glamorous festival, it is a Film Reference Library, an exhibition of the creme-de-la-creme of international cinema, a champion of Canadian features and shorts, a host to innovative exhibitions and rife with programming for adults and children alike. Becoming a member at TIFF gives you a discount on screenings and early access to TIFF tickets. The actual festival has a great variety of films and events, from red carpet Hollywood premieres to a Canadian shorts program.
I love WIFT-T. Don't let the name scare you boys, men can join as an associate member. WIFT-T offers a lot of programming, development and mentorship opportunities that are organized by experienced cohorts. Not only do they have formal mentorships, like the Ubisoft Toronto Producer Mentorship, they also encourage mentorship between members in their member zone. I love the focus on women, of building skillsets and making friends!
MUFF is in its formative period. The Monthly Underground Female Film Society, run by the charismatic Siârn Melton, focuses on female film community, films by women, and films about women. Currently it's a fun film screening hosted by the Royal where you can meet like-minded people and participate in photo booths and good fun, but it will likely grow soon!
LIFT is a fantastic nonprofit, offering affordable courses, gear rental, panels and script reading sessions for members. Courses range from using a bolex to doing your income tax. Many events are free, including the Screenwriter's Circle and the Lift Out Loud screenplay reading series, which anyone can attend. LIFT is great for community building and a great gear resources. Go LIFT!
5. Hot Docs
Hot Docs is North America's largest documentary festival. For professionals, it has the Hot Docs Forum, which has pre-selected candidates pitch their projects to major broadcasters and distributors from all over the world, conferences regarding co-productions, kickstarter sessions, and Rent-an-Expert Meetings. For the casual film lover it provides a great volunteering opportunity and the chance to see remarkable documentaries from around the world!
I hope you found something useful and interesting to you within this list! Join! Meet! Have fun!
Until next time,