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THE TORONTO AFTER DARK FILM FESTIVAL kicked off on October 20th with the Canadian premiere of Canada’s own monster-wrestle-mania film, MONSTER BRAWL (directed by Jesse Thomas Cook). The festival is in its 6th consecutive year it’s at a new, independent and underground movie theater known as the Toronto Underground Theater, and has lots of bloody goodness in store this week!
Although a smaller space for screenings than the Bloor Cinema (where the festival has been held for the last five years, and is now under renovation), it only brought the audience closer together and gave the screening a more intimate, everyone-is-a-VIP vibe.
What Torontonians enjoy best about this film festival (and Canadians alike as people travel from all over the country to attend the 10-day event) is the careful selection of horror, cult, sci-fi and action films (see below for complete film line up and how you can buy tickets) courtesy of the festival’s director, Adam Lopez, and programmers Steven Landry, Christian Burgess, Shelagh Rowan-Legg, and Peter Kuplowsky. More than just the films, however, spectators are drawn to the festival because they desperately want to be part of this unique audience. When Eli Roth and Daniel Stamm brought THE LAST EXORCISM to the TORONTO AFTER DARK FILM FESTIVAL last year, Roth stated that they just had to hut Toronto on their tour because the city is home to the best horror audiences in the world (he premiered both HOSTEL and CABIN FEVER at Toronto’s International Film Festival).
I can attest to that statement after attending MONSTER BRAWL; although I attend this festival each year, I think the audiences are even more engaged because of the slightly smaller venue – everyone was really engrossed by the monsters onscreen, shouting and cheering – a real and genuine theatrical experience.
The next nine days of the festival offers up a lot to look forward to. Last night’s opening gala presentation was a great success (in fact, the opening show sold out so quickly, that a second presentation of the film was added to accommodate audience demand) and with so much to do in the city of Toronto right now, it’s definitely worth travelling for.
The Toronto Zombie Walk (http://torontozombiewalk.ca/) starts at 3pm on Saturday, and THE TORONTO AFTER DARK FILM FESTIVAL offers after-parties every evening of the week that you are invited to as long as you keep your movie ticket stub! At last night’s after-party, the filmmakers and cast joined and mingled with the audience for a few drinks and film-fan-gab. You can’t do that in Hollywood, kids! Filmmaker Ti West (HOUSE OF THE DEVIL) will be closing the festival with his new and highly panned film THE INNKEEPERS. You don’t want to miss that one, and you definitely don’t want to miss after-partying with West (we hear he’s a karaoke champion)!
After last night’s premiere one thing is for sure: the TORONTO AFTER DARK FILM FESTIVAL has a ton of heart, and that’s because of the passion, organization, and dedicated of festival director Adam Lopez and his team of extremely hardworking volunteers and co-workers. The gala was well organized, friendly, and relaxed. You can’t go wrong with this festival!
So, be sure to catch a flick while you’re in town, and if you’re not in Toronto yet – then what are you waiting for?
COMPLETE 2011 TAD FILM SCHEDULE: http://torontoafterdark.com/2011/schedule/
BUY TICKETS: http://torontoafterdark.com/2011/buy-tickets/
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