Dispatch from Toronto Film Festival: Tokyo Police Club & Canadian Film Center

It was one of those nights where you get home at 5am and hit snooze on your Blackberry until 1pm. If you’ve never experienced this, I don’t recommend trying. Anyway, I was cutting it close to completely missing CFC’s Annual BBQ. CFC—Canadian Film Center—is a reputable institution in Toronto that offers advanced training and production in film, TV, and media. And they throw one hell of a party. Because it was more of a “Canadian” experience than a clusterfuck of international industry folk, I decided to miss the screening of Dustin Lance Black’s new film, What’s Wrong with Virginia?, and high-tail it up to North York, a posh residential area just north of downtown.

As soon as I arrived, I was introduced to prominent Canadian actors, directors, producers, and screenwriters, all of whom packed the outdoor, green-grass garden of the CFC while the local band, Tokyo Police Club—one of my favorites and an appropriate band for the function—played live on the deck. Despite the brisk weather, it was an event that couldn’t have been more streamlined: effortless access to open bar, free food, cool Canadians just being cool Canadians with seemingly no ulterior motives. It was a nice moment, a truly underrated event, where I found myself casually drinking a beer in what felt like your best-friend’s backyard, all the while knowing I was supporting a good cause.

The annual CFC BBQ raised more than $200,000 in support of their training programs. Let’s churn out some great Torontonian filmmakers, CFC!