Film festivals are remarkable in many ways. The approach I want to explore a bit is the marketing apparatus one can dip into in order to post some semblance of “success” with a varied population.
The chess game shown above was part of a first weekend midway along a span including the TIFF headquarters and the concert hall where A list celebrities would be on hand to show and promote their latest venture. Like chess, winning in the festival wars takes a certain kind of smarts. While we’re examining this matter as pertaining to Toronto, let’s begin with the year’s tagline, “This Is Your Festival.”
What does that mean? Surely not that the customer directly made something happen. But, far more likely, the approach here is to insinuate that places like Cannes, Berlin and New York embrace “pretentious” fare (that expression being a sort of local rebel yell) that real folks would not enjoy. (This thrust helped install an idiot mayor, so these are buttons that work remarkably well.)
So, up and away, with what the City has always loved—moral and political improvement, and social climbing.
“Your Festival” will—strangely enough, after the de rigueur stacking the deck on behalf of good deeds—count on loads of subscribers to ogling figures redolent of fame. Fortune and glamor.
You, too, can walk the red carpet!
Express the star you always were!
Another frequent flyer slogan. But, amidst this somewhat grotty midway, there is the tiny consideration that less reflexive interest could find a ride that really does something for them.
Ever the populist hub!
Something about a happy crowd that warms the heart.
Ever-efficient, ever-technical…but is there a trace of self-deprecating humor?
Desire under the elms (including the desire “to be discovered”).
You have to admit, the event does ramp up a sort of suspense.
After going through this doorway many times in search of pretentious fare, I know that real surprises could happen.