In Line at the Film Festival

TIFF Group Lists Their Top Ten

It's that time of year again: where blogs and websites start creating their top ten lists in any and all categories. Books, movies, music—everyone has an opinion, and the best way to voice that opinion is by making a list.

While many of the countdowns are pretty weak, the one top ten list that I'm always looking forward to is the Toronto International Film Festival Group's Top Ten Canadian films—a list that was officially unveiled at special event in Toronto last night that was attended by filmmakers, critics, and film enthusiasts from across the country.

Unlike other top ten lists, TIFFG's Canada's Top Ten isn't simply a list: it's a viewing experience. All the movies that were selected for the list (more on those later) will have special screenings and panel discussion in January and February, allowing audiences in Canada to connect and engage with the people that create and promote cinema in this country.

The Canada's Top Ten screenings and panels take place between January 25 and February 5, and tickets go on sale today on the website, by phone at 416-968-FILM, and at the box office in the Manulife Centre. Panel discussions include special sessions on film and music (Bruce McDonald, Cam Christiansen), creating first features (Richie Mehta, Stephane Lafleur, Martin Gero), and the producer's role in filmmaking (Robert Lantos).

When it comes to the films that were chosen for this year's list, there are few surprises: each of the selections represent some of the best filmmaking of the year, Canadian or not, and have already garnered critical acclaim within and outside the country. Here's a quick look at the list:

What is perhaps more exciting this year, however, is the inclusion of the top ten short films of the year, the first time Canadian shorts have been recognized in the Top Ten program. At the launch event, Piers Handling, Director and CEO of TIFFG, said that, "by expanding Canada's Top Ten to include short films, we're recognizing the immense range and talent demonstrated by filmmakers from across the country."

The list of shorts is as follows:

I'll have more on the TIFFG's inclusion of short film in Canada's Top Ten in this month's Cinema In Brief, so be sure to keep your eye out for that later this month.

Tickets for the Top Ten program tend to sell out very quickly, so I'd highly recommend checking out the website later today and buying your passes for the screenings and the panels. The site hasn't been updated yet, so for those of you who want to do some planning in advance, single tickets will cost $8 and a pass for all ten features and shorts and all the panels will run you a very modest $65.

Look out for more on Canada's Top Ten on blogTO in the upcoming month.

(Photo by Toronto film enthusiast Sam Javanrough.)

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