Friday, September 6, 2013

The streets of Toronto are alive

It’s only day two of the Toronto International Film Festival and already almost 76 films have been shown. 

Some of them like “Twelve Years a Slave” left audiences speechless. 

Actor Chiwetel Ejiofor in a scene from 12 Years a Slave.
The film by director Steve McQueen is based on the true life story of Solomon Northup (Chiwetel Ejiofor), a free black man from upstate New York who was kidnapped and sold into slavery in 1841 and finally freed in 1853. TIFF describes it as the story is a triumphant tale of one man’s courage and perseverance to reunite with his family that serves as an important historical and cultural marker in American history. The film also stars Michael Fassbender, Benedict Cumberbatch, Paul Dano, Garret Dillahunt, Paul Giamatti, Scoot McNairy, Lupita Nyong'o, Adepero Oduye, Sarah Paulson and Brad Pitt. 

Almost all of the cast members attended the premiere in Toronto.

“I came out just to see Brad Pitt,” said Eileen Randall of Toronto, who said she’s never missed a festival but always misses Pitt. “He’s been here in Toronto before and every year I miss him.”
Actor Brad Pitt arrives for the premiere of 12 Years a Slave at TIFF (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Nathan Denette)

“Not this year,” Randall mused.

Celebrity sightings are a big part of TIFF but once the stars leave the red carpets and enter the theater life at the festival resumes with people from all over the world – chatting in their native tongue about the films they saw or are waiting to see.

“It’s amazing. I heard three different languages in the same earshot,” said one TIFF visitor.

“It brings people together from different countries and you get to know them (while standing in line for tickets or waiting for the show to begin),” Randall said. “It also brings in revenue.”

One of the many street performers entertaining movie goers – is hoping for that to be true. “This is going to pay my way home,” said the guitar player from Calgary, nodding toward the case on the sidewalk filled with change.

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