TIFF / TUFF (Short Film Entries Invited)

Gail Chiasson, North American Editor

Art for Commuters and ONESTOP Media Group have issued a call for submissions for the 3rd Toronto Urban Film Festival known as TUFF.

TUFF returns to Toronto Transit Commission subway platform screens, September 11 – 20, 2009, concurrent with The Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF). It is the only festival of its kind in North America and has a daily viewing audience of over 1 million Toronto subway travelers.

TUFF features a different urban-themed program of one-minute silent films, which run repeatedly on the ONESTOP digital network of over 270 platform screens during seven of the 10 days of the festival. The top three films of the festival are chosen by a guest judge. This year, he is writer/director/actor Don McKellar, winner of Genie, Cannes and Tony awards. The program for the final Saturday of the festival is determined by audience votes and is named winner of the TUFF Choice Award.

“One minute to silently seduce a weary commuter — it’s a challenge that distills cinema to its essence,” says McKellar. “I’m thrilled to be part of this unique and authentically underground film festival.”

Submissions deadline is July 15, 2009.

TUFF is open to local, national and international submissions by video artists, filmmakers — trained and untrained — animators and urbanites with cameras or video capable mobile devices. Filmmakers are asked to submit 1-minute silent videos addressing one of seven themes: Urban Encounters; Urban Diversity; Urban Journeys; Urban Imaginary; Urban Natural; Urban Secrets; and Urban Ideas. Entry is free to submit; filmmakers retain their rights, and have a chance to win prizes, including a trip for two to Punta Cana, Dominican Republic courtesy of BelAir Travel.

TUFF, in cooperation with Trinity Square Video, will also offer seven filmmakers a complimentary TSV membership and up to $600 of in-kind support towards both the production and post-production of their TUFF movie under the auspices of the Trinity Square Video Pitch Award. Filmmakers are invited to send a CV along with a one or two paragraph pitch that describes their 1-minute film idea to: A4C@torontourbanfilmfestival.com. TSV Pitch Award winners will be screened on the eighth day of the festival. Deadline for TSV submissions is May 30, 2009.

Adam Giambrone, Toronto Transit Commission chairman says that TUFF is a truly unique public film festival and one that offers an accessible and creative experience to the people of Toronto.

“We’re proud to support Art for Commuters in its efforts to weave art into the social fabric of the daily commute,” said Michael Girgis, president of ONESTOP Media Group, a leader in the development, operation, and innovation of OHD networks for the mass transit, retail, hospitality, education and conference industries. “By taking a creative approach to mass media, TUFF has successfully articulated a shared urban identity that reflects the issues at stake in a large city like Toronto.”

“I’m pleased that the TTC, ONESTOP Media Group – and our sponsor Heineken Canada – see TUFF as a unique opportunity to bring art into the public realm,” says Sharon Switzer, executive director of Art for Commuters. “I encourage all filmmakers to submit and be seen by one of the largest film-going audiences in the world.”

Art for Commuters is a non-profit arts collective that initiates unique, thought-provoking projects in the public realm. As ONESTOP Media Group’s community arts programming partner, it brings several urban art festivals and competitions to over 1 million people daily on the ONESTOP network of screens throughout the TTC subway system.

Interested entrants can get more information at the TUFF Web site at http://www.torontourbanfilmfestival.com.

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