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TIFF Higher Learning Offers Students Amazing Opportunities to Augment Learning

Imagine sitting in the same room and accessing the wisdom and advice of the likes of David Cronenberg, Tim Burton, Ethan Hawke, George A Romero or Roger Avery. Toronto Film School students have exactly that opportunity.

Christopher Lane, the coordinator of the Film Production Diploma program at the Toronto Film School, explained that following discussions he had with representatives from TIFF the school has been invited to join the organization’s Higher Learning initiative.

“This is a fantastic opportunity for students to gain further access, in a deeper manner, that will serve them well,” Lane said. “The more students learn and know, the more they can apply to their own art and their own work.”

The Higher Learning initiative by the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) is an ongoing program that provides Canadian college and university students and faculty a forum in which to examine film, television, video, new media and gaming from a wide range of cultural, social, historical, political and technological approaches and disciplines.

“I always tell my students that their education, their learning, does not end the second my class is done or the second my lecture is done,” Lane said. “I expect you, if this is truly your industry and truly what you want to do, to go home and research what I have spoken about, become a voracious reader and continue your education.”

Students will have the opportunity to access Higher Learning symposiums, panels, and master classes and live events at the Bell Lightbox, 350 King St. W. Students will be offered the chance to take-in hands on technical demonstrations by industry professionals and take exclusive tours of the Bell Light Box. Students can get discounted tickets to Adult Learning events, discounted membership passes and discounts to the Toronto International Film Festival.

Also exciting for students, Lane said, is the access they will have to a wealth of digital resources, through the Digital Resource Hub, including resources such as videos of a panel discussion with famed Canadian director David Cronenberg, producer Jeremy Thomas and makeup and special effects designer Stephan Dupuis or a Master Class with Film Title Designer Karin Fong, the designer for HBO’s Boardwalk Empire.

“These are complete master classes,” Lane said of the roster of digital resource videos. “These are amazing, these are ‘the people’ for us.”

Lane explained students also have access to the TIFF Film Reference Library, Canada’s preeminent film resource collection.

“This is like a candy store for a filmmaker,” Lane said, adding that there are hundreds of thousands of images, more than 20,000 book titles, thousands of soundtracks and scripts and tens of thousands of films.

Students will also have access to special collections, accessing item, some more than 100 years old.

TIFFs Higher Learning initiative won’t just be of interest to Acting, Writing or Film Production students, Lane explained. The Initiative also brings in costume designers, which would be of interest to Fashion Design Diploma students and gaming experts who would appeal to students in the Video Game Diploma programs. TIFF Higher learning brings in visual affects and CGI experts as well as title designers the likes of Susan Bradley, Film Title Designer for Pixar Animation Studios on such films as the Toy Story trillagy, Ratatouille, WALL•E and Up, which Lane said will surly attract Graphic Design and Interactive Media students from the Toronto Film School.

Launched in 2012, within its first two years, Higher Learning has welcomed more than 7,000 post-secondary faculty and students from 30 universities and colleges to events at TIFF Bell Lightbox.

The first event Toronto Film School students will be participating in titled “Adieu Godard?” where leading Jean Luc Godard scholars Nicole Brenez, Daniel Morgan, Murray Pomerance, and Jonathan Rosenbaum discuss the director.

“Students will sign up with me or email me and I can block off a section of 30 to 40 seats,” Lane explained. “And this is absolutely free to our students and our faculty.”

Students are asked to see Christopher Lane or contact him at [email protected] for more information or to arrange for tickets to the event. New events will be posted as they come up.

Lane said, students are encouraged to visit TIFF’s Higher Learning webpage to learn more about the program.


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