The Business Lessons I learned by NOT attending TIFF (Toronto International Film Festival) in September 2022

Pre-pandemic, I took 10 days off every September and attended TIFF; planning out my festival schedule (including going through the catalogue of 300 – 400 movies) taking a chance on which movies to see; seeing about 20 movies; talking to tons of strangers; grabbing food on the run and pretending I was a tourist in Toronto. Then came Covid-19. The first year, the festival was virtual and after watching movies at home, I decided what I liked most about the festival was talking to the random strangers I stood in line with or sat beside.

For those of you, who only read this article to see which movies to see – here’s a Toronto Star Article by Peter Howell with his Top Ten Pics.

And here are the TIFF People’s Choice Award winners (decided by the TIFF movie attendees - best jury on Earth):
  1. TIFF 2022 People’s Choice Award: Steven Spielberg’s The Fabelmans
    First Runner-up: Sarah Polley’s Women Talking
    Second Runner-up: Rian Johnson’s Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery

  2. TIFF 2022 People’s Choice Documentary Award: Hubert Davis’s Black Ice
    First Runner-up: Stephanie Johnes’s Maya and the Wave
    Second Runner-up: Babak Payami’s 752 Is Not A Number

  3. TIFF 2022 People’s Choice Midnight Madness Award: Eric Appel’s Weird: The Al Yankovic Story
    First Runner-up: Ti West’s Pearl
    Second Runner-up: Tim Story’s The Blackening

Now, back to my “lessons”.

When tickets went on sale, months ago, I wasn’t ready to go back into the movie theatre, and I still don’t know if I am. So I didn’t see any TIFF movies this year.

But…. I still have the business lessons I learned:

The world changed on March 13, 2020 and it’s never going back. Lots of the changes are beneficial for all of us, such as:

  1. There were parts of TIFF, we all could have participated in remotely this year. TIFF used their Twitter stream (@TIFF_NET)  to broadcast some of the Red Carpet interviews, as well as providing running commentary about all things TIFF. 
  2. After a hiatus, people are looking for ways to reconnect. Reach out to someone and see where it leads. The world works best if you have great relationships. I don’t know about you, but connecting one-on one was the best part of the last few years.
  3. People are more sensitive and understand that everyone has a different perspective. For example, not shaking hands is no longer an insult. Nor is not wanting to be in crowded rooms with loads of strangers.
  4. We’ve all learned what’s important to us. For example, work / life balances have shifted as have the importance of friendships. I recently took a day off and “pretended” to golf. Nine holes of a combination of Best Ball, this shot is not something I want to do, and seriously trying to get the ball in the hole in the fewest strokes. All 4 of us agreed on the “rules”.
  5. There’s always going to be another opportunity. The situation will be different, but next time may be the best time to get involved.

What lessons have you learned? Give me a call and we can discuss them. Who know where the call may lead.

Feel free to contact me if you have any questions. Heather Freed,