Talk about a second act! Bill Marshall, the legendary founder of the Festival of Festivals, now known as the Toronto International Film Festival, has his eye on Canada’s Niagara wine and food region. So from creating the world’s most influential film festival, Marshall now dedicate himself to creating the most delicious.
NIFF marries the pleasures of the palate with the love of film for a one-of-a-kind, never-been-done-before event. “That’s what my great talent is”, Marshall told me today at the TIFF Bell Lightbox launch. “I see something really obvious and do it and people say why didn’t I think of that? Okay!”
That’s what happened in 1976 when he and friends came up with the idea for the Festival of Festivals. “You've got all these people who can’t see films in their own language. Why don’t we show them? Okay.”
Niagara is one of the country’s most popular tourist attractions with the Shaw Theatre festival the extensive vineyards and fruit orchards, its restaurant and wine culture. Marshall’s a fan.
“I’d like to live down there; I always said I wanted to do another film festival somewhere. I looked at all the places in Canada and this was the natural place. You have the great cuisine the great destination and wine; all I have to do is bring some decent movies. I still have a passion for promoting Canadian talent and this is a great place to do that. It’s an hour away from Toronto. Why wouldn’t you come? I don’t see anything wrong with seeing Canadians going to Niagara, instead of America!”
NIFF preparations and celebrations are underway already. “We are having a sneak preview for locals this week” says Marshall. We'll be showing Restrung, having a soul food buffet and then a Motown band so we are just going to party away.”
Restrung is Mike Enns’ portrait of Randall Wyn Fullmer, a Disney artist, animator and /producer who gave it all up to handcraft bass guitars. Two shorts form the 50’s written by Mordecai Richler and starring Peter Sellers will be screened as will the early silent films with Mary Pickford, the Canadian-born “America’s Sweetheart.” including Their First Misunderstanding (1911).
A partial list of titles screening at NIFF:
Love Is Strange
A Night in Old Mexico
God Help The Girl;
More Than Honey
A Kind Of Wonderful Thing
The Hundred Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out Of The Window And Disappeared
The Sparkling River
For more information:
Well, done, Bill!