Spotlight on York at Toronto International Film Festival

It’s definitely an A-list event. For 10 days, from Sept. 8 to 17, the world’s film elite attend the Toronto International Film Festival. This year’s festival features screenings of 335 films from 52 countries, including the world or North American premieres of 256 feature films.

Left: Actor Val Kilmer at the Toronto International Film Festival

Walking the red carpet with the world’s top stars, directors and film industry executives are a number of York alumni, faculty and staff from the University’s film program who will screen their films. They include newly-minted York alumna Tess Girard’s award-winning short film Benediction; fourth-year student Chris Nash’s horror/comedy/drama, Day of John; York film graduate Ryan Redford’s (BFA ‘01) film Lake; the Canadian premiere of The Life and Hard Times of Guy Terrifico, an alt-country mockumentary starring a host of contemporary music legends, including York ethnomusicologist Rob Bowman; and the world premiere of Whole New Thing, a captivating coming-of-age drama co-written and directed by York film Professor Amnon Buchbinder. Serving as a backdrop to their presence at the festival is a unique advertising spot which highlights York’s new state-of-the-art venue, the Accolade Project.

“The Toronto International Film Festival is a defining feature of this city. I’m very pleased that we have the work of our students and faculty in the festival, and also that we can celebrate the Accolade Project, the next big step for the Faculty of Fine Arts at York,” said Philip Silver, dean of York’s Faculty of Fine Arts.

Developed by York’s Marketing & Communications Division, the 15-second advertising spot features a series of fine arts disciplines dissolving crossword-style into the word Accolade with a brief voiceover and a final shot of the completed Accolade East building. Click here to view the spot. Airing twice an hour, it is displayed on giant outdoor LED screens positioned at key festival venues located at King & John, Yonge & Adelaide, and Yonge & Eglinton streets. The commercial is being shown 16 hours a day, from 8am to midnight, to deliver the Accolade Project message to the world’s film industry elite as well as Toronto cultural audiences. 

“In excess of one million people will see this spot,” said Richard Fisher, York’s chief marketing & communications officer. “It will raise awareness of the Accolade Project and reinforce the reputation of York’s unparalleled fine arts programs.”

The end of the spot features a brief dialogue that says “The Accolade Project – three words that will transform fine arts,” followed by the Web address. “The purpose of the spot is to draw people to the Web site for the Accolade Project and it works with sound and without sound,” said Laurence Boucher, director, account direction, in York’s Marketing & Communications Division. “It is meant to be a teaser, teasing people to find out more about York’s Faculty of Fine Arts and the Accolade Project.”

The creative work for the spot was a collaboration between Toronto-based doug agency and Montreal-based Eye Candy Media.