It’s with great excitement that several members of the MFF programming team head up to Toronto today for TIFF 2012. Toronto is one of the world’s largest and best-curated festivals for world cinema, and attending TIFF is always a highlight of a film programmer’s year.
TIFF uses literally dozens of screens throughout the city, has filmmakers present for nearly each of the hundreds of films it screens, and owns and operates a brand-new year-round venue (the TIFF Lightbox). In these and so many other ways, Toronto epitomizes what a film festival can be, and what a city full of cinephiles can look like. From big-name titles like Paul Thomas Anderson’s THE MASTER and Terrence Malick’s TO THE WONDER, to new work by international masters like Susanne Bier and Tsai Ming-liang (not to mention the latest controversial provocation from Harmony Korine), TIFF has ‘em.
Toronto also happens to come at a great moment as far as Maryland Film Festival programming is concerned. As you may have noticed, we’ve just launched our 2013 Call For Entries, and TIFF represents another aspect of us launching our search for the next MFF’s crop of films. Many of the 50+ films we’ll see over the next two weeks don’t have U.S. distribution yet, and will still be emerging in the marketplace come MFF 2013. Indeed, if you look back at some of the standout foreign titles that have screened MFF over the last few years – DOGTOOTH, THE TURIN HORSE, SYNDROMES AND A CENTURY, ONCE UPON A TIME IN ANATOLIA, THIS IS NOT A FILM, LIVERPOOL, NOSTALGIA FOR THE LIGHT, and MY JOY, to name just a handful—a large number of them are films our programmers originally spotted at TIFF.
With that in mind, if you want to get our first reactions to some of the titles we may be bringing back to Baltimore over the next year (whether within MFF 2013 or some of our other year-round programming), be sure to follow us on Twitter, and keep reading this blog; we’ll be sharing some of our TIFF epiphanies with you over the next two weeks.
-Eric Allen Hatch, Director of Programming