Toronto Film School faculty, students and alumni were among the 1,500 guests invited to hobnob over hamburgers at the Canadian Film Centre’s Annual BBQ Fundraiser.
Held at the Windfields Estate on Sunday, Sept. 8, the annual event is held during the opening weekend of the Toronto International Film Festival every year as a part-fundraiser, part-networking event.
“These events are so important for Toronto Film School students, (because) it’s a real opportunity to network and to meet professionals doing what we’re all trained to do,” said Andrew Barnsley, Toronto Film School’s Executive Producer in Residence.
“As I’ve talked about many, many times before, not only is it important to have the solid educational foundation that you get from Toronto Film School, but it’s also so important to forge relationships that will help launch your career, establish your career, and be with you for the duration of your career.”
Heeding Barnsley’s advice, TFS Film Production alumni Craig Myers and Alan Murray, Writing for Film & TV grad Adam Castaldi, and Acting alum Gavin Downes were among the many Toronto Film School representatives putting in appearances at the 2019 CFC BBQ.
“It’s a good environment. Lots of filmmakers, lots of interesting businesses and concepts that you’re going to consistently hear talking to people throughout the event. It’s kind of inspiring to hear the way (other filmmakers) are going about making their films and funding them,” Myers said.
“I think the CFC…provides a lot of good connections; doors may open with them that you’ve never had before, so I think that’s worth looking at.”
That sentiment was echoed by Yale Massey, co-program coordinator of TFS’s Film Production Diploma.
“(CFC) is a place where you can go and network, but also meet a lot of directors, a lot of artists, and get your films funded,” he said. “It’s a great opportunity for students of the (Toronto) Film School to really sort of graduate towards.”
Presented by Netflix, this year’s 2019 CFC BBQ Fundraiser featured special guest speakers including the CFC’s CEO Slawko Klymkiw and founder Norman Jewison – both of whom lauded their own alumni for a strong showing at TIFF 2019.
“It gives me a real sense of pride that so many of our graduates are now accomplishing and contributing so much,” Jewison said in his speech, which recognized the 58 CFC alumni whose work was screened during TIFF 2019 – including Flood, which was produced by TFS Film Production graduate Danny Sedore.
“The talent is blossoming; and it’s thanks to you – all of you – who have supported the Film Centre…And that’s what we celebrate today: world-class Canadian talent, and our partners and partnerships that have helped get us where we are today.”