For the first time since 2019, the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) returns to full in-person screenings.
Amid the COVID-19 pandemic and its subsequent lockdowns and regulations, the festival, like many others, shifted to digital streaming for 2020 and 2021.
“On one side, I was thrilled that we were able to gather again and have that collective movie experience,” said Jolie of Toronto Film Files. “I was a little bit concerned, with the move going back to in-person – would that completely dismantle all of the great accessibility progress that has been made with a digital festival?”
Along with Toronto Film Files, Jolie has been a film writer and contributor to several film outlets across Toronto. For years, she has attended and volunteered for the festival.
While she said TIFF is a time to celebrate the debuts of new films and creatives, she said she still thinking about those with chronic illnesses who want to see these films as well.
“Digital TIFF has been a game changer for them,” said Jolie.
For this year, she is relieved to see a portion of digital access still available, and hopes it remains a fixture in future festivals.
“There’s a space for both digital and in-person,” she said. “Watching a film at home doesn’t take away from the experience, it’s just a different one.”
Canadian film at TIFF
On the Canadian front, Jolie said there are several local films to watch this year.
“I would highly encourage people to support Canadian films, support Canadian filmmakers.”
She highlights two films:Young Arsonists and I Like Movies.
Young Arsonists was filmed in Caledonia, ON. Its story is centered on four young girls who form strong bonds and seek to reclaim an isolated farmhouse.
The films’ director, Sheila Pye, was born in Millgrove, ON. After a set of short films, Young Arsonists is the director’s first full-feature.
I Like Movies is directed by Toronto-based filmmaker, Chandler Levack. The film is about a socially awkward cinephile who gets a job at a video store. The film is also Levack’s full-feature debut.
“I hope everyone enjoys TIFF, and enjoy every moment,” said Jolie. “Take some time to see a big splashy, buzzy movie, but also take the time to see some hidden gems.”
Listen to Jolie of the Toronto Film Files’ full interview: