As a writer and photographer I travel between my life in Toronto, my life in Antigua, and anywhere else my wanderings may take me ... writing my books and enjoying local arts and adventures along the way.

BizMedia Zooms in to the Toronto International Film Festival

DJ Champion was a pecular mix of DJ, bass guitar, and electric guitar. The crowd loved it.

DJ Champion held a TIFF opening night concert. It was a pecular mix of DJ, bass guitar, and electric guitar. The crowd loved it.

Tonight was the opening of the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF). In front of┬áthe opening screening at Toronto’s Roy Thompson Hall and at after party events around the city where they could be seen entering the darkened interiors of chic gatherings, the entertainment world’s most luminous celebrities graciously paused to pose for photographers. Or perhaps the photographers being there was the act of grace that allowed celebrities to pose. I noticed how the well-lit white backgrounds that are inevitably installed at such events are tailor made for the red carpet’s particular brand of glamour photography. These backgrounds excert an almost irresitable pull on anyone who wants to be captured in a photograph. After the celebrities left I watched as one by one passers-by gave in to that irresistible draw and enjoyed having a celebrity style picture taken of them in front of that white background with the “Toronto International Film Festival” and “TIFF” featured very prominently on it.

The white background found near almost all film festival events makes for an irresistable photo opportunity.

The white background found near almost all film festival events makes for an irresistable photo opportunity.

Since the Toronto Film Festival is the largest public film festival in the world, interest in the festival is supported by a number of free public events. One of these was the concert by DJ Champion held in Dundas Square. I loved watching the electricity of the crowd as they responded to the various vocalists that came on stage to perform with the band. Every one of them was so different, one woman for example was a little soul. She asked the crowd if she could sing a little church soul and the Toronto crowd being a willing companion in most any adventure roared back its approval to her. The next performer also sang about heaven, but with his own particular post-grunge vibe sang instead about heaven being lost.

This vocalist electrified the crowd.

Gritty vocals electrified the crowd.

Dundas Square is just that, an open square. People move through at all hours of the day and night with no barriers to coming or going. For such a fluid gathering place DJ Champion held the audience for the entire duration of the concert like the crowd was rooted in place.

The crowd was as deep as the square was long.

The crowd was as deep as the square was long.

At the end of the event I noticed a film crew filming me photographing the band. Being naturally curious I talked to some of the film crews on site and was soon introduced to Justin Brennon Smith and Dan Demsky of The Biz Media (http://www.thebizmedia.com). The pair were there filming the event for the Toronto Film Festival. They shoot live internet broadcasts of the events at Dundas Square. Their video footage is also simultaneously broadcast across the city to be projected on huge billboards at other strategic locations in Toronto. The two bright eyed twenty somethings told me they had gotten their start after meeting in school and had never looked back.

Justin and Dan of The Biz Media were two great guys who were fun to talk to.

Justin and Dan of The Biz Media were two great guys with an inspiring story.

In this dismal economic climate their story of quiet success was an inspiring one that I hope to follow up on when I meet them again later in the festival.

E1 Entertainment put on this afterparty for the film Year of the Carnivore.

E1 Entertainment put on this afterparty for the film "Year of the Carnivore".

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One comment on “BizMedia Zooms in to the Toronto International Film Festival

  1. Thanks for this post – I saw them setting up the stage on my way to work the other day but didn't get a chance to witness any of the activities. WOW, it's amazing how Toronto has emerged on the world stage. I can remember when Yonge and Dundas was nothing more than a repository for dregs of city life.

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