Partway through the process, and before my eyes go crosseyed from the Excel, some first impressions.
Superficial stuff first: love the program book cover this year, the motif that appears in variations throughout the materials of enraptured audience members instead of vague abstracts or modern-art surrealism. The people's festival indeed, illustrated. Looks like the bag is made of better material than it has been in the past two years as well, with a flat bottom to boot (okay, this seems irrelevant, but I save 'em as souvenirs and last year's was made of some fabric barely a notch up from crepe paper). Got a second Stella Artois glass, assuming they remain a sponsor, after TIFF '11 I'll be able to serve pilsner for four. Took the traditional big whiff of the book and...hmmm. Paint. The Nathan Philips Square TIFF tent's new expansion just got a fresh coat recently, it seems, and the glorious new-ink-and-cinema scent of the program book is subsumed by the odour of white latex paint. Got back to the office, gave the enclosed promotional sample cosmetics, coffee, popcorn and cherry/pomegranate power water to co-workers and began highlighting titles in the index.
I suppose the Kindle may be different as it's not so much for the interactivity, but I must say that books, ie: solid paper-based blocks of info you can hold in your hand, can't be disappearing any time soon. Sure the whole film list has been up on the festival site for a few days and bouncing back and forth between links there has been helpful, but actually being able to study the summaries and credits caused a small shakeout and huge additions. 25 titles highlighted in the index based on the cover-to-cover I did at my desk. And now comes the winnowing.
Still nothing for me from India this year, the one that looked great, What's Your Rashee?, is a gala. Didn't know anything about An Education until...screenplay by Nick Hornby?!? I'm there. Quite a lot in Reel To Reel I'm curious to see, but oddly enough there's nothing in Canada First! that's grabbing me. The afternoon with Michael Caine is on my list, but the movie he's selling isn't. I suspect his Q&A will be sold out, or at least I'm bracing myself for settling for a second pick that day. The first screening of one of my gotta-see's conflicts with the Nick Cave book signing, which is a drag, but maybe Willem Defoe will stick around for the second screening. Still sort of regretting not doing two ticket books, but pragmatism must rule.
Okay, back to the spreadsheets...