Just Buried Premiere Party by Joshua Tidsbury

TIFF Today: September 11, 2007

A look at the news and events surrounding the 2007 Toronto International Film Festival, and a very quick look at one Canadian short film every day.

Day Six

Clive Owen and Cate Blanchett may have been on the cover of Metro yesterday, but it is fitting that Ellen Page was on the cover of Screen Daily on the same day. Because while many people in Toronto may be abuzz about sightings of Jude Law and Angelina Jolie, the talk in the film world is buzzing about the quality of Canadian content at this year's film festival.

Of course, Ellen Page's performance (alongside fellow Canadian Michael Cera) in Juno is a standout when it comes to Canadian talent, but she's not the only actor from the Great White North that has been receiving accolades for their work this year. Crowd favorite Ryan Gosling turns in a stunning performance in Lars and the Real Girl, and Kristin Booth, who turned in a humorous performance in Young People Fucking, does a complete u-turn and turns in a frighteningly impressive role in This Beautiful City.

While there are some great Canadian films (Eastern Promises, Poor Boy's Game) in various programmes at the festival this year, the Canada First! programme has featured some of the most impressive Canadian cinema I've seen in years. We've written a lot about Richie Mehta's Amal before, but equally of note are films like This Beautiful City, Just Buried, and Young People Fucking. And of course, Juno is directed by Canadian-born Jason Reitman, son of legendary filmmaker Ivan Reitman who has made his home in Montreal for several years.

If you're set on skipping school or work in order to do some celeb stalking, here are some of the big names that will be arriving in town today:

  • Denys Arcand
  • Koel Purie
  • John Leguizamo
  • Woody Allen
  • Ludivine Sagnier
  • Wilson Yip
  • Michael Douglas
  • Chris Cooper
  • Ellen Burstyn
  • Eric Bana
  • Tyrese GIbson

If you're more interested in film than stars, it's worth noting that the TIFF '07 Screening Room is up and features trailers and clips from some of the most popular films showing at the festival. And just in case you were upset that you missed your quick chance to see Clooney or Pitt talk about their movies, the Screening Room also has video of the various press conferences that have taken place at the festival.

Of particular note, however, is the fact that the Screening Room lets you watch six short films that are screening at TIFF this year. Instead of browsing YouTube on your lunch break today, stop by and watch some great Canadian shorts.

And now, a short (100-word) look at a short:

Julia Kwan wowed audiences across the country with her first feature film, Eve and the Fire Horse, but fails to capture the same kind of soul in her short film Smile. While Kwan attempts to capture the same kind of family sensibility she so aptly presented in her feature, Smile fails to charm the audience in the same way. Then again, part of this may be because we've covered the territory already in Eve and the Fire Horse, so you can't fault Kwan entirely.

Julia Kwan's Smile screens today at 4pm at the Cumberland Theatre as part of Short Cuts Canada Programme 4.

(Image: Premiere Party for Chaz Thorne's Just Buried, taken by Joshua Tidsbury.)

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