PRINT November 1995

Q & A

on the Toronto Film Festival

WHILE A PRIZE AT Utah’s Sundance Film Festival adds instant wattage to a filmmaker’s aura, the lower-profile Toronto Film Festival has emerged, in the words of Miramax head Harvey Weinstein, as “the premier North American festival.” October Films’ Bingham Ray thinks it’s the best in the world. “It doesn’t have the glitz and glam and bullshit of Cannes,” says Ray, “and Venice is for purists.” Open to the public in a city of cineasts, Toronto provides a unique gauge of both industry and nonindustry reaction. A noncompetitive annual festival with nearly 300 films this year (twice that of Sundance), chosen by programmers from both Canada and abroad, Toronto does seem the most wide-ranging, democratic forum for the medium.

But like the outer-space protoplasm that engulfs a small-town theater in 1958’s The Blob, a Hollywood–New York presence—in the form of splashy premieres, 600-odd reporters,

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