I know what you're thinking...W.I.F.F.!(certainly an unfortunate anacronym)...but it is all ours! It is appropriate for the smog capital of Canada. Certainly, something smells when a handful of films that are pillaged out of the Toronto Festival are brought in under the guise of an 'International Film Festival'. Most cities would call that a weekly event at their local cinemas. Instead, our fair city, while rolling out the red shag carpet for the local celebs to trip over, throws loads of money and publicity at this well-intentioned shindig. I don't mean to be so negative about it...I am glad that I get to see Michel Gondry's Science of Sleep...but I get frustrated at the lack of vision from our city counselors about 'culture' and the slack-jawed response you get from them. Although, I do realise that things have to start somewhere and I give credit to the W.I.F.F. organizers for putting together some additional screenings during the year and for bringing these films to this backwater-film-distribution- limbo town of mine. Hopefully, next year we will see a local element and/or the inclusion of other local organizations added into the festival program.
Rant: Even though the festival has alot of corporate sponsors this year, they got alot of money from the City last year. This money could of been better spent bolstering existing programs or other art institutions, i.e. MediaCity, or setting up a more permanent film centre. Why can't the city and the private sector invest into long-term solutions rather than ramble on about a 'CuItural Capital'? Put your money where your mouth is!! This isn't the 'Cannes' of Canada. Fix the foundation first. There is no panacea for the cultural barrenness (like the urban sprawl eating up the farmland) that has grown like a spiralling parking-lot tower of bureaucratic babel. It is time for our city counsellor's to wake up and start smelling the roses that are already here rather than gamble away the cultural integrity of our city that has spread from a city block to an arena-sized landfill. A good start would be to let the peers of this artistic community (not just on paper) guide the way to a revitalized 'urban village'. Reminder there is the municipal elections happening soon (Nov. 13th)! Cast your vote accordingly. Until then, "You have left the American Sector"!!