TIFF 2003: Early Picks

Last night, my friends Paul and Brent came over to our place so that we could all make our choices for the Toronto International Film Festival which begins on September 4. This part of the process is always frantic. You have to mark your choices down in a printed schedule, which must be dropped off before 10am tomorrow. These schedules are placed into numbered boxes, and at 10am, one number is drawn out of a hat. This lucky box is the first to have its orders filled, and then the box whose number follows it, etc. Last year or the year before, we were in the box before the lucky box, meaning that our order was filled last. I think we got half of our choices. Regardless of how lucky you are, you almost never get all of your choices, which means last-minute scrambling to plug something into your schedule. It helps if it’s something you want to see, and of course it helps if there are tickets left by the time you’ve decided and then stood in line. So, it’s always an adventure.

Here are my preliminary picks. If I’m very lucky, I might get 13 or 14 of these:

Last night was such a blur that I’ve only just now realized how skewed my choices are toward American and British films, and documentaries. The good thing about not getting all your first choices is that some of your last-minute substitutions turn into the happy accidents that make that year’s festival memorable. So, no matter what happens, I’ll be seeing some great films in the next couple of weeks.

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