Freelance Writing Gig

I recently started freelance writing for the Hot Docs cinema! That’s where the Hot Docs International Documentary Festival holds its year-round programming.

The centerpiece of this gig is writing the film descriptions for nearly all the films screening at the cinema. But it also involves preparing the box office webpages for each film, the print calendar, and pre-show slides.

I’m pretty proud of the results! Of course, I cannot take all of the credit, or even most of it. My contact (boss? editor?) at Hot Docs edits the content before it goes live. And there’s a designer who puts together the actual calendar. But at the very least, I have a hand in writing most of the text that goes in it and finding many of the images to be used. You can view the first calendar I helped make here. And of course most of the film pages for screenings between December 2016 and February 2017 will have been set up by me.

I’m about two months into a three-month trial in this position. So far I like it quite a bit and I’m learning a lot too. It is good practice to have to write so many film notes on a regular basis. (Now the trick is to muster the self discipline to write for my own site on a regular basis…).

Catching up

Whoa! Where did August and September go? (And half of October, haha)

The industry conference gig at TIFF was very busy, but I had a great time. It was interesting to see a different part of the film festival organism. The conference is not a part that I had any previous experience with, so it was all new to me.

There were a lot of interesting talks! Of course, I didn’t see any live, since I was always busy during the conference itself. Fortunately, TIFF streamed and recorded many of them (at least, many of the ones on the main stage: The Glenn Gould Studio). So I was able to watch some of them afterwards.

Jill Soloway was one of the most anticipated and appreciated speakers at the conference, so I was definitely glad to catch her video afterwards. There are many more interesting talks to be found on that TIFF Live youtube channel!

The conference is such an interesting part of TIFF. Of course, at the bottom line it’s all about the movies. But movies don’t exist in a vacuum. They are part of a discussion. And there are important issues that need to be discussed. A lot of the great conversations at TIFF happen at cafes, in lines, and in bars. But it’s great that some of them are given a stage (and a url) so that they can be shared far and wide.

True, there is a layer of exclusivity. To attend the conference in person you have to be an industry delegate or press. But, there are thousands of such delegates. And as mentioned, a lot of the great talks end up on YouTube for all to see.

And of course, the hope is that the filmmakers in the audience take the ideas from these talks and use them in their next films.

The cycle of film festivals continues!

As I’ve posted about previously, I was one of the senior programmers for the Toronto Korean Film Festival this June. I had a brief pause from festival work for July, but in a few days I start my new contract at another festival! And this time it’s the big one: TIFF.

For this round I will be the Industry Conference Coordinator. It’s my first time working specifically with industry events, so I’m looking forward to learning a lot. Looks like its going to be a busy few weeks! Hopefully not too busy to keep posting here once in a while. I have a few ideas kicking around…

Once TIFF finishes in September, work for JAYU will really ramp up. That festival is not until December, but programming work will be quite busy throughout the autumn.


Film Festivals!

Well, the Scarborough Worldwide Film Festival has wrapped up. Phew! Crazy busy. It feels like it was over before I knew it. But at the same time, the beginning feels like a hundred years ago.

Already on to the next one! The Toronto Korean Film Festival starts in a couple of days. I was the Festival Manager for the Scarborough one, and I am a Senior Programmer for this one. But with such small teams, there is a lot of overlap between the positions.

Busy busy!