It Takes an Army / by Karen Harnisch

If it takes a village to raise a child, it takes an army to launch a film festival. This is about more than the staff and volunteers at TIFF, or any other film festival for that matter.

But sticking to TIFF 2019 as an example, when you take into account the dozen or so people involved in making a short film and the hundreds involved in making a feature film and multiply that by the number of films submitted (7,926), you begin to get an inkling of how much time, effort and money goes into the making of a major film festival.

But this is also about the bits and pieces that make up a festival. One of the statistics we like out of TIFF is if you sat down and watched every film on the schedule you’d get to stand up again about 20 days later. A total of 28,264 minutes of film.

Sticking with shorts, in TIFF’s Shorts Programme 1, a mix of great international films, look for films by Montréal’s Emilie Mannering, Brandon Cronenberg and the previously mentioned Karen Chapman... Brandon Cronenberg’s title is long for a short, Please Speak Continuously And Describe Your Experiences As They Come To You. It runs 10 minutes and is a psychiatric patient with a brain implant that allows her to relive her dreams. She discovers that her reality is being encroached upon in unappetizing and surreal ways. TIFF’s writers describe it as a “psychedelically retro thriller.”