An Insider’s View of TIFF

A Trebas graduate shares her TIFF experience

Trebas graduate, Muniyat Haque has always wanted to be a filmmaker.

To pursue her goals, she enrolled in the Film & Television Production and Post-Production program, graduated, and started creating her own short films, commercial videos, and scripts. To further develop her skills and career, she attended the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), one of the most anticipated events of the year. Read more about her experience below.

Panel with Oscar-Winning Director, Guillermo Del Toro

One of Muniyat’s festival highlights was a panel discussion with Oscar-winning director, Guillermo Del Toro, famous for his work on The Shape of Water, Pacific Rim, and Pan’s Labyrinth.

For aspiring filmmakers like Muniyat, Del Toro emphasized the importance of moving forward in the face of rejection.

“He talked about having his screenplays rejected over and over,” said Muniyat. “It related to me because I have two screenplays that I’m working on, and he said not to give up even when your screenplay gets rejected. Success in this industry comes to those who do not give up."

Del Toro also discussed his career, influences, and cinema from around the world. He spoke about the video games of Hideo Kojima, the godfather of stealth games, and how they blur the lines between film and gaming. He also praised Hayao Miyazaki, known for such animations as Howl’s Moving Castle, Spirited Away, and his newest film, The Boy and the Heron.

Learning from International Films

Another highlight for Muniyat was watching several international films at the festival. These included the Nigerian comedy-drama, I Do Not Come to You by Chance, as well as the Indian drama Dear Jassi.

"In countries all over the world, there are interesting stories with great acting that are funny, dramatic and deep,” she said. “This made me want to spend time watching and learning from more films outside of Canada.”

Muniyat realized the importance of exploring a range of film genres from across the globe. Doing so can help filmmakers learn new techniques. From masters of old such as Akira Kurosawa and Federico Fellini to the current crop of foreign-language films at festivals like TIFF, there is always something new to learn from the cinema of another culture.

“You see how different cultures use music and cinematography,” Muniyat explained. “It gave me new ideas and inspiration.”

Networking at TIFF Happy Hour

Making connections in the film industry is vital for success, so Muniyat attended the TIFF Happy Hour, a daily event for mingling and networking with film professionals while enjoying drinks and hors d'oeuvres. Here, Muniyat gained new resources that will help her career.

“I met some people at the networking events at TIFF who could potentially help me produce a film I've written,” Muniyat said, referring to the various producers and artists in the industry attending TIFF.

Parting Advice

Muniyat’s experience at TIFF helped her gain new knowledge about filmmaking, establish connections, and re-invigorate her confidence as a filmmaker. When asked what her main takeaway was, the answer was simple.

“Be patient, be kind to yourself.”

She also learned that it’s a good idea to know the area of film or the position on a film set that you want to pursue. Knowing your area of focus, such as screenwriting, production, lighting, or editing, will help you narrow down opportunities, specialize your skills, and network with the right people.

To learn more about Film & Television Production and Post-Production, visit the program page.

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