With only a few short sleeps before it all kicks off, the Toronto International Film Festival will surely be here before we know it.
For some, such as Cameron Bailey, it’s been ongoing as TIFF’s co-director has spent the past year viewing and selecting the event’s 336 films. Although Bailey served for over a decade as programmer (where he founded the Planet Africa program and headed the Perspective Canada series), this will only mark his second year assuming overall programming responsibilities with Piers Handling.
Metro caught up with Mr. Bailey briefly to discuss the 34th Annual Toronto International Film Festival.
Although you were a programmer for many years, this is your sophomore year as co-director. What did you learn most from your experience last year?
There will be upset filmmakers. There will be 18-hour work days. Our audience is a genius. Collectively, these thousands of film-savvy, film-loving people picked Slumdog Millionaire out of the pack and made it the most popular film of the festival … and the year.
You have received praise this year for landing such high profile premieres as the Coen Brothers’ A Serious Man. How important was it to land that specific film?
The Coens have been bringing films to the festival for ages and our audience has grown up along with them. They get their sense of humour. We’re thrilled that A Serious Man will make its world premiere in Toronto because this is essentially a hometown crowd for these guys.
TIFF has never shied away from controversial films. Is there any movie that you think will stir the pot, so to speak, this year?
We expect Michael Moore’s Capitalism: A Love Story and Lars Von Trier’s Antichrist to start a few conversations. For anyone even more adventurous, we’ll make the world premiere of the new Harmony Korine film, Trash Humpers. Only if you dare…
After a long year’s journey to get to this point, how will you celebrate after TIFF ends?
I’ll celebrate with my wife Carolynne and our son Tate, who’ll just be five months old when the fest kicks off.