This is the first year in five that I’m not attending the Toronto International Film Festival–the falling US dollar, rising fuel costs, and necessary baby duties have conspired to keep me here in Los Angeles this year, which means I’m missing at least a dozen friends (most of them listed at right) but avidly reading their blogs.
Removing some of the sting, however, is last week’s AFI FEST announcement of a few of the films that will be playing here, October 30 through November 9. Once a ho-hum festival mostly comprised of Hollywood premieres and quirky American indies, the festival made a dramatically improved embrace of world cinema last year thanks to Artistic Director Rose Kuo, whose hand is equally clear in this PDF hint of what’s to come.
Among the notable titles, North American premieres of two Robert Koehler favorites from the Guadalajara Film Festival: Lake Tahoe, which he wrote about here at Film Journey (“something to hold onto, and keep close”) and The Desert Within, which he wrote about at Variety (“suggests a sister film to Bunuel’s Simon of the Desert”).
In addition to these, ten films from TIFF, including:
Not that I won’t miss strolling through a rainy Toronto, grabbing hot dogs from street vendors while rushing between screenings, and sharing copious amounts of coffee with friends I rarely see in person . . . bonne voyage, mes amis.