And that’s a wrap!
After ten very long days of glitzy red carpets, star-studded movie premieres, and raucous late night parties, the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival is officially over. With the big stars gone home and the awards all handed out, we figured now would be a good time to look back over the 2013 festival.
Simply put, TIFF 2013 was one of the biggest and best in the event’s long history and set the bar very high for all future fests. This is TIFF 2013 by the numbers.
Directors and movies and stars, oh my!
Thousands of actors, filmmakers, and producers from around the world attended TIFF this year. Visitors to the 2013 festival include actors Sandra Bullock, Brad Pitt, Julia Roberts, Hugh Jackman, Jennifer Aniston, Benedict Cumberbatch, Daniel Radcliffe, Scarlett Johansson, Michael Fassbender, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and filmmakers like Alfonso Cuarón (“Gravity”), Ron Howard (“Rush”), Bill Condon (“The Fifth Estate”), David Gordon Green (“Joe”), Spike Jonze (“Her”), Stephen Frears (“Philomena”), and Steven Soderbergh.
Believe it or not, there were also quite a few movies to be seen at the film festival this year – 366 films in total (288 feature length plus 78 shorts) from 70 countries were screened. That’s eight fewer films than were shown at the 2012 fest, but still a very big number. TIFF’s all-time movie record happened at 1984 festival, where 460 movies were screened. Of the film screened at TIFF 2012, 146 movies world premieres and 103 were North American premieres.
Canadian content is always a big part of TIFF and the 2013 festival was no different. Canadian filmmakers like Jason Reitman, Don McKellar, Denis Villeneuve, Atom Egoyan, Jean-Marc Vallée, Chloé Robichaud, Xavier Dolan, Ingrid Veninger, Michael Dowse, and Jonathan Sobol all had films in the festival this year. There were 31 Canadian feature films and 42 Canuck shorts at TIFF 2013.
Nearly 5,000 films in all (3,850 international and 1,042 Canadian) were submitted to the 2013 fest -- that's up 750 submissions from last year’s 4,143 movies. For those not doing the math, that’s a 7 per cent acceptance rate. If your film screened at TIFF 2013, you were one of the lucky few to actually make the cut.
The long and the short of it
TIFF sure packs a whole lot of movies into a 10-day festival. More than 31,000 minutes of film played on 28 screens during the 2013 fest. That’s 522 hours, or nearly 22 days, worth of movies. And that doesn’t even include all of the press and industry screenings that took place. Even the most diehard cinephile couldn’t see it all if they tried!
The longest movie at TIFF 2013 was “Norte: The End of History” at 250 minutes, while the shortest movie – “CRIME: Joe Loya – The Beirut Bandit” - was just two minutes long. Both films pale in comparison to TIFF’s length record holder though, the 15-hour doc series "The Story of Film: An Odyssey."
The Toronto International Film Festival has pretty much leveled off in terms of how big it can get. The 2010 fest had an estimated 260,000 public/industry admissions and attracted countless more visitors. According to TIFF, this year's fest attracted 432,000 people. The yearly event is already a huge occasion that requires a massive staff and thousands of volunteers to pull off successfully. It’s a real credit to the fest’s organizers that things usually work out, but to grow TIFF any larger would increase risk mishaps.
In addition to becoming the unofficial kick-off to the Hollywood awards season in recent years, TIFF has increasingly also become important as a movie buying market and film industry conference. Thirty-two high profile film sales went down at TIFF 2013, including U.S. and international distribution deals for “Bad Words,” “Can a Song Save Your Life?,” "Fading Gigolo," “The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Him and Her,” “The F Word,” “The Green Inferno,” “The Railway Man,” “Tom at the Farm” and “Under the Skin.” On the conference side of things, TIFF 2013 included 180 guest speakers and 57 panel discussions, featuring the likes of Chiwetel Ejiofor, John Turturro, Matthew Weiner, Alex Gibney, Sarah Polley, Keanu Reeves, Johnnie To, Alexandre Aja, and Jason Bateman.
There was so much to see and do at TIFF 2013. The event has come a very long way since the days when it was known simply as “The Festival of Festivals.” We can’t wait to see what the organizers have planned for 2014!
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