This section started in 2016 when I attended one film festival in Toronto each month and interviewed one of its organizers. It is now a collection of interviews with prominent figures in Cinema from Toronto and beyond.

September 14, 2019

Norwegian filmmaker Jorunn Myklebust Syversen has been emerging onto the world stage as a powerful voice in cinema. Her first feature film was Hoggerenin in 2017, and she now brings her new film Disco to TIFF. The film is a remarkable examination of the religious cult scene in Norway, with a thoughtful interplay of popular culture and traditional spiritual beliefs.

throwdown815: Going through your filmography, you were ini...

September 11, 2019

Anna Maguire (director) and Julia Lederer (writer) are both at TIFF to promote their short film It's Nothing, which is screening as part of the Short Cuts Programme. The film is a powerful representation of the mental struggles afflicting individuals with eating disorders, and takes a unique approach in depicting the disorder on screen. It's Nothing will also be screening at the FIN Atlantic International Film Festival on Sept...

September 11, 2019

Ra Vincent is one of the most prominent production designers working in the industry, having started his filmmaking career as a sculptor on The Lord of The Rings films. His credits since then have included The Hobbit films (for which he received an Oscar nomination for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey), King Kong and Alice Through the Looking Glass. He is currently in Toronto promoting his work as the Production Designer for ...

September 11, 2019

With an already established career producing music videos and directing short films, Oualid Mouaness presents his first full length feature at TIFF this year. 1982 is a notable debut from Mouaness, who has surely set himself on a long and successful career path as a filmmaker. A full review of 1982 can be found here.

throwdown815: Going through your profile, I see you did an MFA degree in film at Florida State University, but y...

September 10, 2019

Finnish filmmaker Zaida Bergroth returns to TIFF with Maria's Paradise, a film profiling the rise and fall of evangelical cult leader Maria Åkerblom. This is the third time she's premiered a film at the festival (The Good Son in 2011, Miami in 2017), and like her previous films, Maria's Paradise is an emotionally charged piece of cinema that defies any one genre. Her next film is slated to be a biopic on Tove Jansson, a Finnis...

August 11, 2019

Photo: Elaine Wong (left) and Fu Mulan (right) at the 2019 Mulan International Film Festival

At this year's Mulan International Film Festival, I had a chance to speak with filmmakers Elaine Wong (presenting her film Where Dreams Rest) and Fu Mulan (presenting her film Stray Cat Ah Q). Their films screened at the festival on August 9, 2019.

Throwdown815: Mulan, you’re currently living in New York?

Fu Mulan: I’m studying in Ne...

August 29, 2017

Andria Wilson
Executive Director
Inside Out Toronto LGBT Film Festival
Andria Wilson is the Executive Director of Inside Out, Canada's largest LGBT Film Festival. A recent full-time resident of Toronto, she was an integral contributor to the arts and LGBTQ communities in Atlantic Canada for the last 15 years, holding key leadership roles at the Atlantic Film Festival, East Coast Music Association, TD Halifax Jazz Festival, Cre...

August 2, 2017

Henry Wong
Founder and Festival Director
Toronto Youth Shorts
Henry is the Founder and Festival Director of Toronto Youth Shorts. He produced the Rockie Awards international program competition for the Banff World Media Festival for four years and has provided event coordination and marketing support to the Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival, the Canadian Film Centre, and the Scarborough Walk of Fame. He also regul...

April 2, 2017

Jes Tom (left) | Twitter@jestom | Instagram@jesthekid
Jes Tom (they/them) is a weird queer stand up comic, gleefully providing the nonbinary queer Asian American radical cyborg perspective that everyone never knew they wanted. Jes has performed at colleges and conferences spanning the frigid American northeast, and in all five boroughs of New York at venues such as Joe's Pub, Brooklyn Museum, and the Atriu...

March 31, 2017

Shirley Hughes
Co-Founder and Co-Festival Director
Toronto Silent Film Festival
Shirley successfully started the first Toronto Silent Film Festival in the spring of 2010. The festival has been growing in size and importance ever since. She is also a member of the Toronto Film Society, one of North America’s oldest, since 1979 that included three terms as a member of the Board of Directors and two as Vice President. Shirley has...

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