Tuesday, August 30, 2011


When we were putting together this year's schedule, I thought I noticed a trend toward shorter films.  Being a math geek, I set out to calculate the average length of this year's films versus the 2009 films (the last time we went).  Now, I don't have the kind of time on my hands that I can average the lengths of 300+ films for each season, so I stuck to the films we'd picked.  Sure, perhaps we just happened to pick the shortest films they had out this year, but I doubt it.  For the sake of argument, I'll treat it like a random sampling.

Last year, our average screening was just over 111 minutes long.  This year, we nosedived to just over 98.5 minutes, over 12.5 minutes shorter than 2009.  Is it an industry trend?  Sheer luck?  I don't know, but maybe, just maybe, producers are trying to play into the hands of our short attention spans.  Either way, we could call this year the Toronto International Short Film Festival.

Monday, August 29, 2011

2011 Schedule

Maureen and I spent the better part of five days reading film summaries, rating films, negotiating (which she does professionally -- not fair), sorting, scheduling, etc., and came out with this year's schedule.  We were participants in a pilot program to enter selections online, instead of the traditional and tedious method of circling entries on a printed schedule and using color-coded highlighters to denote order of preference.  Unfortunately, we still had to pay the full cost of the Out of Town Selection Service, which includes overnight freight back to Toronto.  But, if the pilot goes well, perhaps we won't have to next year.

But I digress.  The point I was going to make is that the schedule of our picks is attached to the blog for your viewing pleasure.  See the link in the upper right hand corner for a pop-up version, or the full schedule is embedded at the bottom.  We had to make a few second choice picks, so you'll notice some overlapping.  I colored the second choices differently, but for whatever reason, the second color is lost when I embed the calendar.  I say hrmph to blogger on this point.  Our second choices are thus noted by the text "(2nd)" following the title of the film.

We tried to balance light-themed films (Juan of the Dead and Sons of Norway) with more heavy themes (The Ides of March and Think of Me).  We also made sure we would spend enough time reading during the festival -- at least in term of subtitles.  Lastly, we arranged for a new novelty -- a complete day off.  That's right, on Thursday, September 15th, we're not attending a single screening.  What will we do instead?  Whatever we feel like, of course.

One other note: If you click on a movie in the schedule, and then click on More Details, there is a link that will take you to the TIFF film summary for that screening.  While you're there, you may find yourself perusing the 300+ films showing this year and subsequently complaining to us about a film that we should have seen.  Happy reading!