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The Review... In Review

Everything you wanted to know about TIFF 16 but were afraid to ask

Sep 21, 2016

After 11 days of movies, parties and staggeringly beautiful Instagram snapshots of Ryan Gosling, TIFF 16 has come to a close. And while we’re sure you were hanging on our every word, here’s a very detailed recap of everything you missed on The Review, while you were experiencing everything the Festival had to offer.

Here’s The Review in Review:


"Gone Nollywood" Programme associate Nikissi Serumaga details her love of Nigerian Cinema and interviews Okafor’s Law director Omoni Oboli. For even more Nikissi/Nollywood love, check out this Yo, Adrian podcast featuring Nikissi and Mo Abudu, producer of The Wedding Party, who is known as the “Oprah/Shonda Rhimes” of Nigeria.

“Our TIFF Is Your TIFF” According to our panelists of programme associates, critics and film lovers, the best way to survive the Festival is to “go home” and “not drink.” But really, this warm, nostalgic ode to crying at the movies, encountering the late Roger Ebert and experiencing moments that moved you summed up everything that is the Toronto International Film Festival.

“The Next Wave Committee Helps You #TIFFHack Your Festival” A group of fierce cinephiles aged 14 to 18 gave us a list of their favourite films at the Festival and advised us how to “run into” celebrities.

“TIFF 16 Overachievers” Not content to show up in the Festival lineup just once, we shouted out luminaries like Isabelle Huppert, Jim Jarmusch, Rooney Mara and Kristen Stewart who made multiple appearances in films at TIFF 16.

“15 Literary Adaptations At TIFF 16” For all you bookworms, we summed up all the literary adaptations at the Festival from American Pastoral to Pedro Almovodar’s Julieta (inspired by a book of short stories from Alice Munro!)

A TIFF Preview With Artistic Director, Cameron Bailey

Kiva Reardon interviewed 6ix God Cameron Bailey about his new propensity for wearing t-shirts, the role the Festival has played in his life and why he’s a double Scorpio who loves Cameron Crowe’s Jerry Maguire in a charming and heartfelt podcast on Yo, Adrian.


Once the Festival began, we put on our analytical hats and wrote some wonderful long-form essays. Now that you’ve seen them, don’t hesitate to read wonderful pieces on favourites like Toni Erdmann, Manchester by the Sea, Things To Come, I, Daniel Blake, Raw, Irma Vep, Christine and Maliglutit (Searchers).


The Review captured filmmaker interviews from a variety of mediums.

On the podcast front, you can listen to Rats’ director Morgan Spurlock and his producer Jeremy Chilnick talk about their scariest rodent-related moments, Canadian collaborators Maxwell McCabe-Lokos and Bruce MacDonald talk about their films at TIFF 16, or dig into a discussion between James Gunn and Greg McLean on their horror parody The Belko Experiment on Nobody’s Perfect. There’s also I Am Not Your Negro director James Baldwin speaking with Pure Non Fiction/TIFF programmer Thom Powers at the documentary conference and Daughters of the Dust’s Julie Dash explaining how Beyonce changed her life, for good measure. Forthcoming interviews and podcast subjects include The Dardenne Brothers, Hirokazu Kore-eda and a conversation between Kazik Radwanski and Hermia and Helena director Matias Piñeiro, so stay tuned!

Our written interviews are no slouch either, whether it’s Agnes Varda explaining how she became an artist, the lead actor and director behind the Nigerian coming-of-age movie Green White Green saying they were inspired by both Wes Anderson and Woody Allen to an incredible email exchange with Prevenge’s Alice Lowe that will make you want to make a female Taxi Driver.

Video-wise, we spoke to everyone from Transparent’s Jill Soloway to Werner Herzog. Some killer clips include Rob Reiner telling the world’s first fart joke, Paul Schrader discussing the writing of Taxi Driver as “self therapy” and how Nick Cannon cast Beenie Man in King of the Dancehall.

Last but not least, read two absolutely heartbreaking interview exchanges between two sets of emerging Canadian filmmakers. Anne Émond (director of Nelly) and Chloé Robichaud (director of Boundaries) are both women making personal, challenging and provocative movies in Montreal. They discuss the role criticism plays in their work, why they make films and how they’re tired of being labelled “female filmmakers.” Ashley McKenzie (from Cape Breton, director of Werewolf) and Kevan Funk (from Vancouver, director of Hello, Destroyer) are longtime coast-to-coast friends who met at TIFF Talent Lab 2012. They spoke over Skype about where they get their ideas from, “toxic masculinity” and the most sublime moment they had on set while making their first features.


Illustrator Leeandra Rae Cianci was there to draw all the crazy quotables heard at Festival, such as:


With so many unique filmmakers and artists at TIFF 16, we boiled down a few luminaries to a key signature of their work, including:

Nathan Rabin on Christopher Guest’s comic entourage and Entourage producer Mark Wahlberg’s surprising career

Chandler Levack on why Xavier Dolan’s ‘90s soundtracks make his movies

Will Sloan explaining why the genesis of Herzog’s cinema is a boundless curiosity

Malcolm Gilderdale detailing why so many filmmakers love to shoot at magic hour

Chris Dupuis on the film Handsome Devil and the cinematic tradition of straight/gay male friendships from Rebel Without a Cause to The Perks of Being a Wallflower


In case you missed it, local documentarian Hugh Gibson, whose devastating film The Stairs ended up being critically regarded as one of the Festival’s best, wrote an exceptionally beautiful piece on the hidden influence of Iranian master filmmaker Abbas Kiarostami on his work.

Then mumblecore icon Mark Duplass tore the house down with an impassioned article about why mentorship matters in finding your voice and how filmmakers get better by “fucking up and building a tribe around them.”

Writes Duplass: "One of the most common things young filmmakers do — and it’s an easy mistake — is make films like the films they love, as opposed to making what they uniquely have to offer. Jay and I loved the Coen Brothers growing up and we tried to make Coen Brothers’ movies — we were terrible at it. Somewhere in those late-night conversations with your friends, you know, the ones you have at 2 AM that make you giggle uncontrollably or cry in a deep, strange way — that’s where your voice is."


The remaining TIFF 16 content on The Review is just as eclectic and spirited as the films we showed at Festival. Please enjoy:

A TIFF 16 playlist (courtesy of Apple Music!) of the music and artists featured this year from The Stooges to Janelle Monae

TIFF 16 Bingo (gotta catch ‘em all)

Adam Waito’s graphic comic series #FestHacks (also featured on digital signs outside TIFF Bell Lightbox!) which include tips on how to sneak into a celebrity cocktail party and how to talk about a movie you haven't seen.

TIFF critic/filmmaker/new father Mark Slutsky wrote a beautiful remembrance of the 11 TIFFs he’s had so far…

The Forbidden Room’s co-writer Robert Kotyk on why the experimental film programme Wavelengths offers a hearty “why not?” to all intrepid festival-goers

Jake Howell on VR's new cinematic adaptation

TIFF 16 short filmmaker Molly McGlynn's personal essay about why “rejection makes you a filmmaker” is words to live by

And lastly, check out many, many gorgeous photos of directors and actors from all 10 days of our digital portrait studio - in polaroid form too!


Sum up your TIFF16 highlight in one tweet, photo or GIF by tagging @TIFF_NET and #TIFF16 highlight. We’ll post the best answers on The Review and on our social media channels to keep the Festival memories in motion.

Thank you so much for following The Review during TIFF 16, stay tuned for more coverage from the other 354 days of the year.

From the team at TIFF Digital Studio