Thursday, September 6, 2012

2012 Toronto Urban Film Festival, Sept 7-17

The Toronto Urban Film Festival, North America’s largest commuter film festival, is ready to roll out its sixth annual edition. For 11 days, from September 7 - 17, 2012, Toronto’s subway system will become a standing-room-only cinema showcasing the world’s best one-minute, silent films to over one million viewers.

TUFF will screen 73 amazing films from 18 countries on Toronto Transit System (TTC) platform screens, and feature a new “Too TUFF for the TTC” program of films. “Too TUFF for the TTC” are one-minute films that are well-conceived and executed but too risqué to screen in a public transit setting.

Films play every 10 minutes on Pattison Onestop’s 300 subway platform screens in stations across the city. Pattison Onestop will also provide designated “Film Zone” screens for commuters to watch TUFF uninterrupted on the north and south platforms of the Bloor subway station, as well as at Dundas and St. Andrew subway stations.

“TTC customers get so engrossed in the TUFF experience that it isn’t unusual for them to miss their train,” said TTC Chair Karen Stintz. “We know that this year will be no exception given the calibre of filmmaking we have seen so far.”

"We are proud to broadcast TUFF and bring this urban film festival to more than one million daily commuters," states Michael Girgis, President of Pattison Onestop and TUFF co-founder. "Short, silent films set to delight, entertain and contemplate - it's an experience unlike any other.”

Sharon Switzer, TUFF Executive Director, and programmer Angie Driscoll (CFC Worldwide Short Film Festival; Hot Docs) have programmed an exceptional line-up of short, silent films, representing the work of both emerging and accomplished filmmakers, video artists and animators from Canada and around the world.

“We hope Toronto commuters will take a minute to enjoy this year’s stellar line-up of short, silent films,” said Sharon Switzer, TUFF Executive Director. “We received more than 400 impressive submissions from around the world, making this year’s programming both a pleasure and a challenge.”

On Friday, September 14th TUFF’s spotlight is on renowned Canadian writer and video artist Steve Reinke’s new series, “Rib Gets in the Way.” A multi-talented auteur, Reinke’s videos have garnered much acclaim, including the Bell Canada Video Award. Spotlight is a co-presentation with Trinity Square Video, which commissions new videos by well-known artists to premiere at TUFF.

In partnership with and selected by Lomography Canada, TUFF will showcase five 35mm films made with the LomoKino movie camera on Saturday, September 15th.

TUFF films can also be seen online, and viewers are encouraged to cast their vote, from September 5th to September 14th, for the Viewers’ Choice Award. The top 10 Viewers’ Choice films play on the TTC on Sunday September 16th.

To mark the end of another successful year, the award-winning films will screen on Monday, September 17th , highlighting the brilliant work of TUFF’s outstanding and talented filmmakers.

The top three films of the festival, as well as the winner of the Naish McHugh Award for Emerging Filmmakers, will be selected by this year’s guest judge, Canadian documentary filmmaker, Jennifer Baichwal (Manufactured Landscapes, Payback: Debt and the Shadow Side of Wealth) and presented at a special awards ceremony on Sunday, September 16th.

"All the films were wonderfully diverse and engaging, and I had a lot of fun watching them. It was tough to choose among them but the nominees stood out for their originality, aesthetic depth, coherence and beauty." said Jennifer Baichwal.

Returning to the festival is The Screening Room at The Drake Hotel. Relax, kick-back and enjoy 75 minutes of back-to-back TUFF from Friday, September 14th to Sunday, September 16th from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm in Room 222. Admittance is free.

TUFF 2012 highlights include:

Yeti by Eva Zhou, Scarborough Canada: A Yeti discovers why conforming to an ideal can backfire.

Amid Nature by Marina Manushenko, Toronto Canada: The city seen through the trompe l'oeil reflection of puddles.

Scarves by Owen Eric Wood and Fatima Fakih, Windsor Canada: Eight non-Muslim women practice dressing in a hijab.

Concrete Reverie by Luke Sargent, Toronto Canada: A couple, wittingly escape the sea after their canoe gets wrecked by a storm in this live action, stop-motion film.

Beuys in Halifax by Steve Reinke, Chicago, USA: In 1976, Joseph Beuys gave a public lecture in Halifax.

Lomotnik by Amaud Martin, Paris France: A stuffed bear is brought to life and terrorizes the city. Shot with a Lomography LomoKino camera.

Films from the Official Selections and curated programs are available year-round and featured on TUFF’s website. In addition to voting during the festival, viewers are encouraged to rate and comment on the films throughout the year.

TUFF is co-produced by Art for Commuters and Pattison Onestop, and is funded by the Ontario Arts Council and NBCUniversal Canada.

Where to find TUFF:
Website --
Facebook --
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About Pattison Onestop -
Pattison Outdoor Advertising is Canada's largest Out-of-Home advertising company, serving over 100 markets coast-to-coast. Pattison Onestop, a division of Pattison Outdoor, is a world leader in the development and operation of Digital Out-of-Home Media (DOOH) for mass transit, mall, retail, hospitality, residential, office, and outdoor environments.

About Art for Commuters -
Art for Commuters is a non-profit curatorial collective that initiates unique, thought-provoking projects in the public realm. As Pattison Onestop's arts programming partner, they bring urban art festivals and exhibitions to over one million people daily on the network of TTC subway platform screens. Art for Commuters was founded in 2007 by Sharon Switzer.

NIMBY by Jackie English - TUFF 2011 - 1st Place Winner from Sharon Switzer on Vimeo.

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