Film Fest Overload?

Now less than 48 hours from the close of this year's 2005 Toronto International Film Festival, it's about that time to look back and marvel at the breadth of media coverage gained by this year's TIFF. If you've been reading blogTO you might even wonder if anything else was happening in and around the city last week.

We haven't been alone in devoting overwhelming page real estate to the festival. All the usual suspects - the Globe, the Star, the Post, Now, Eye, Dose - have all been in on the act, as have a number of perhaps lesser well known blogs and other online media outfits.

Of course, what separates the big media players from the blogs, or shall we say citizen journalism is not only money and resources (people, equipment etcetera) but perhaps most importantly access. We here at blogTO applied for media accreditation to this year's TIFF and were denied. Upon appeal, we even made note that the White House - a conservative bastion some might say - have granted bloggers media access, so why not a supposedly forward thinking and culture-friendly organization like the Toronto International Film Festival? Upon further review, our application was again refused. A terse form letter played the role of explanation.

Despite the setback, we've given TIFF our best efforts. Without access, we were not able to see as many films as hoped, we didn't get to eat shrimp at many of the parties and we certainly didn't get a seat at any of the press conferences.

Neither did many of the other bloggers and online outfits who covered TIFF this year. Torontoist unveiled the TIFFist. Indiewire covered the deals. Sweetspot apparently did something - including a promotion with Polish Beauty Bar - but it's beyond me where you can find it online. And tons of individual bloggers such as Chris Nolan also weighed in with their thoughts and reviews.

It almost leads me to wonder whether the media accredited priviledged are starting to feel a bit of pressure, or at the very least be forced to think about the online medium as something more than a channel to repurpose their print content. To this point, the Star broke out their first real blog. (real being the key term for those of you who remember Wakestock) They also asked illustrator extraordinaire Chris Hutsul do create a Midnight Madness comic.

Which reminds me of a conversation I has a number of months ago with a writer from Toronto Life (more on that next week). He asked me what the point was in having a blog? Who has time to read it? Besides, isn't everything already covered by traditional media?

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