Sunday, August 18, 2013

My 10th TIFF - No Press Accreditation

No media accreditation at TIFF 2013
On Friday afternoon, nearly 8 weeks after my media accreditation application was submitted, I got the dreadful email (from a no-reply back email no less) that denied me access to the 38th Toronto Int'l Film Festival. The letter further reiterated just how precious and few the access is this year with so many media asking for accreditation. In the back of my mind, I knew I would be denied because film festivals take themselves so damn serious, and Toronto is at the top of the heap in this attitude. Oh trust me, I still love TIFF, but when it comes to a blogger like me trying to gain access, legit, journalistic access, TIFF doesn't find value in what someone like me can contribute. I wonder how many bloggers were accredited this year. How many of them pay their own way? How many of them have attended TIFF 10+ consecutive years?

I reckon that it's not what a writer can do, but what can they DO for TIFF? How far and wide is their media reach? How much more current and  future monies can they bring to TIFF and Toronto via their coverage? How can the media contribute to further promotion of the glamour of TIFF and the brilliant vibrancy of Toronto and it's influence in the Hollywood scheme of things? What more can the media do to build upon TIFF's barometer to start the true Oscar season in early September like no other festival?

TIFF Press room 2011: Detroit Metro Times
Maybe I'll try again next year, or maybe not, I'll just spare myself the waste of time. By my not getting accredited this year, it just reminds me of this bold separation between mainstream media journalism, and just mere bloggers. Have bloggers and blogging by proxy helped increased the prestige of being a traditional journalist or mainstream media forum? For a blogger to be "legitimate" and "reputable" does one have to sell out and align itself under a media group umbrella, such as a MSM media affiliate in order to become more credible? I have seen such mergers in the past five years of two notable former bloggers and now they are in the big leagues and are perceived to be more legitimate. But some bloggers do get press access at TIFF, like this dude at Black Sheep Reviews (note, it helps living in Toronto and being in a social circle of film review media friends who invite you to events where you can develop networking TIFF access).

Such an opportunity to have a MSM website will never happen for me because I don't really want to go that route. Once I become part of a social media conglomerate, there are rules, advertisement, and article quotas that goes against my independent operation. And as such, it is most likely that I will never be credible enough to be deemed worthy of media accreditation. The only way I can move on from this slap down is to carry on like usual and cover TIFF the best way I can, in my own unique way as a TIFF fan and film lover.


  1. Aw, boo, Simone! I sympathize with your frustration at being perceived as a less-than-legit journo, but I for one look forward to your unaffiliated, candid, don't-give-a-shit coverage of TIFF! (All the more b/c my own TIFF plans got derailed.) I hope you have a wonderful 10th TIFF!

  2. Thank you April for understanding my frustration. I do understand why TIFF desires to be "selective", but I yearn for the day when a blogger like me can gain more respect and develop my portfolio by being allowed the opportunity to legitimately have fuller access at TIFF in order to cover more about it. Perhaps post TIFF 2013, I'll write to them again expressing this concern.

  3. At least you've heard! I applied 6 weeks ago and still haven't received word one way or another! It's incredibly frustrating.

  4. Maybe you're one of the lucky ones. Good luck, please let me know the decision.

  5. Thanks for sharing useful information about press accreditation. Your blog is very useful. I would really like to come back again right here for likewise good articles or blog posts. Thanks for sharing.

  6. Sorry to hear this. :( I didn't get my 12 Years a Slave tickets. :( However I did secure a handful of great tickets including a red carpet for Mandela so I'm happy. Of course I'm still going every day in hopes that someone will exchange a ticket. If not I'll be in the rush line!