So here’s the thing about galas – they can be a great introduction to the festival. The adrenaline rush of the cameras flashing and the celebrities and the excitement of seeing the film one week or two before the general public.
However, there are hundreds of movies to pick from every year, and many do not get a wide release after the festival – if they get a release at all. If you are just starting out by all means, try to see a gala so you get the star exposure and the start to understand the magnitude of the lineup situation. But if your primary objective is to see movies that you might not get a chance to see in a packed house with a crowd that is totally enthusiastic about being there, shows up on time, turns their cell phones off and are all there to see the movie and not the people IN the movie you may want to skip most of the films in the gala presentation program. Some of the gala films were announced today, and while there are always a few interesting international or ‘arty’ options in the gala program, there are also many films that will be in wide release very soon after the festival. In these tough economic times I would find it hard to pay over $40 to see a movie in the less-than-comfy Roy Thompson Hall when I could wait a week and drop a ten spot to see it at the AMC. I do enjoy seeing mainstream movies alongside the more obscure options every year – sometimes you need to see a light comedy after a documentary about genocide, if only so you don’t cry yourself to sleep – or drink too much on the patio at the Drake. You should think before you make your choices if you are seeing the movie because you want to see the talent more than the film you need to just buy a ticket to another film – and leave that time slot open to line up before the movie with your camera and take a picture. Things happen every year that could cause the celebrities to miss the screening, and you will just be disappointed if that is your only reason to see the movie.
I had a point when I started this post…but I had a bit of wine.
Oh, yeah – the title. So Precious was announced as an official selection and part of the gala program. If you seriously think that a movie that Oprah has talked about will be hard to find outside of the festival you need to think again. If you think the Oprah Effect won’t make you end up watching this movie if you are already under her thrall, then think again. I paid to see Beloved in the theatre AFTER I read the book and knew that it would be one long emotional donkey punch because of Oprah. So the point is you need to want to see the movie whether it’s a gala or not so you won’t feel bitter about the ticket price if the talent doesn’t show up.
See the press release for more info on the latest galas announced. http://tiff.net/press?newsId=627
And while you are trying to decide about what to drop the ducats on, that Ricky Gervais movie will probably be pretty easy to find after the festival too.