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TIFF begins

Richard Lautens, Staff Photographer

TIFF (the Toronto International Film Festival) is now underway in Town.  It is officially the silly season.

Over the course of the next 10 days or so our paper will shoot over a hundred TIFF assignments.  These include portraits, red carpet walks, press conferences and parties.  I feel guilty saying this but frankly none of the photographers particularly look forward to this time of year.

Many moons ago TIFF was a lot more fun.  It was very canadian with low security, great access to the stars, a lot of respect for the media and a fun vibe.  Unfortunately as it became more and more successful, it has been taken over by the big American machine.  Canadian PR firms and local film execs are not trusted as much by the parent companies anymore. 

Access for canadian publications has really tightened up.  A Toronto Star photographer may get 2 minutes with any given star where the USA Today photog may get half an hour.  We may not even get a glimpse of a star like George Clooney-US media only.

I had my first two TIFF assignments of the year yesterday.  The first was with Isabella Rossellini.  This was the 4th time I have photograph her and she is always a dream to work with.  She is very creative and not that into the whole 'star mystique'.  She was at the ROM for a display of props from her new series of short films called Green Porno, Scandalous Sea.  Her one stipulation was that she would not pose around the display of sea animal penises.


Rossellini is seen turning the tables as she takes a photo of one of the journalists present.

The second TIFF assignment was of a young director who has a 7 minute film debuting of a young poet's childhood experiences.  I met the two at a cafe on Queen West and they seemed as though they felt like Cinderella at the ball. 


They were good sports when I took them into an alley and had them stand in some weeds.

Richard Lautens/Toronto Star


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Excellent Photos!

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