TIFF 2017 blog: Welcome to the lounge

Theodore Pellerin

One day you’re trying to fit in as many press screenings as you can, and the next it’s time for TIFF to start. That always seems to be the way with the festival, but this year seemed to disappear especially quickly as I planned for The GATE’s Interview Lounge at TIFF 2017, presented by Hamilton Watch. Now here I am: the lounge is open, and we’ve been hosting interviews and guests for 2 days now.

Yesterday we moved into our lounge, and set things up, before welcoming director Kathleen Hepburn [update: watch the interview], and actors Theodore Pellerin and Mary Galloway [update: watch the interview] to sit down and talk about their film Never Standing, Never Still.

Today, Brian O’Malley and Eugene Simon stopped by to talk about their Gothic film The Lodgers, followed by Justin Harding and Rob Brunner for the short Latched, and then I spoke with actor and musician Luisa Lee about Brad’s Status. Interviewer Bonnie Laufer Krebs also chatted with Cardinals stars Sheila McCarthy and Katie Boland, and I sat down with On Chesil Beach director Billy Howle and actor Dominic Cooke.

During TIFF it’s always hard to get much time with most actors, but the great thing about having our own lounge space this year was having just a notch more time than usual, and being able to give them something for coming to us, since we had brand partners and a gift bag. I’d say we’re also extremely fortunate to have our partners, who have all been very good to us and our guests.

Tomorrow things really get busy as we’re expecting not only a lineup of guests to come meet our puppy friends, but we also have 20 actors and directors coming by for interviews. That’s a wonderful, incredible thing too, since we have a lot of Canadian and independent film talent coming through the lounge, which is part of why I love covering TIFF. There’s no question that TIFF is a fantastic opportunity to interview bigger stars from around the world, but the festival is also a rare chance to interview filmmakers and talent who otherwise never get a chance to come to Toronto to talk about their work.

Photos by Rick McGinnis.

W. Andrew Powell lives, sleeps, eats, and breaths movies and entertainment. Since launching The GATE in 1999 Andrew has enjoyed being a pest to any publicist who would return his calls. In his "spare time," Andrew is also an avid photographer, and writes about leisure travel and hotels around the world.