Piers Handlings memorable moments running the Tor

first_imgPiers Handling’s memorable moments running the Toronto film festival TIFF director and CEO Piers Handling is photographed at TIFF’s 2018 Canadian Press Conference, in Toronto on Wednesday, August 1, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Christopher Katsarov by Victoria Ahearn, The Canadian Press Posted Sep 3, 2018 7:00 am PDT Last Updated Sep 3, 2018 at 8:20 am PDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Emailcenter_img TORONTO – The lights will dim on Piers Handling’s career as director and CEO of the Toronto International Film Festival after this year’s instalment.Here are some of his most memorable moments from his career at TIFF, which began in 1982 and saw him appointed CEO and director in 1994:Casual Encounters with the Stars“There are relaxed moments, what I call festival moments, that just surprise you: you walk into a restaurant or you walk into a bar and it’s relaxed and informal,” Handling says.“You’ve caught them away from the red carpet and you sort of know them.”Many of those moments happened at the now-closed restaurant Bistro 990, where stars often dined.“You’d find Brian de Palma huddled off in a corner having lunch,” Handling recalls.“Then later on you’d go upstairs and there would be late-night parties in the Bistro … where you’d hear Steven Soderbergh here and Stellan Skarsgard there and everyone is having a drink and it’s very relaxed.”Then there was the late-night festival hospitality hotel suite, where talent including Julie Christie and Fernando Birri would gather after screenings in the earlier days of TIFF.“You had a little jukebox and a little radio and then you’d put some music,” Handling says.“You’re talking about cinema, you’re talking about politics, you’re talking about life experiences, and those of course are the moments you remember the most — those intimate moments.”The Formal Yet Sometimes Surprising Moments“You meet people behind the stage, in the screening room — some crazy incredible stories in the green room,” Handling says.He recalls one French filmmaker’s strange behaviour at a gala, where “he actually ran around the green room and bounced off the walls and off the couches. I’d never seen this experience ever.”Handling later learned that was a ritual for the filmmaker, who “was completely professional” when he went onstage.“He does this every time before his premiere,” he says. “It’s his way of letting off steam.”Technical Difficulties“I’ve had screenings break down, films burn in the gate,” Handling says.“I remember when we opened Perspective Canada one year with a film called ‘A Winter Tan.’ Five filmmakers, it was jointly signed — Jackie Burroughs, John Walker, a few other people — and the film went on upside down.“I remember I was in the foyer of the cinema and Jackie coming out just incensed, enraged. We had to stop the screening and the whole bit, pounding on the door of the projection booth. Poor projectionist.”last_img

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