Thursday, May 31, 2018

TORONTO TRUE CRIME FILM FESTIVAL: Interview with Founder Lisa Gallagher.

1) This is a great idea for a film festival. How did you come up with the idea to create the Toronto True Crime Film Festival?

It started with my excitement to see My Friend Dahmer at last summer's Fantasia International Film Festival. I was talking with my partner about it—and in general about how the true crime selections of any given film festival are always at the top of my list—on our annual five hour train ride to Montreal when I said, "Somebody should start a festival that's just true crime movies!" Then it all kind of went from there.

                                           ABDUCTED IN PLAIN SIGHT (Opening Film)

2) What were you and the rest of the programming team looking for when selecting films to screen? The fest will be screening both documentary and fictionalized films based on true crimes. I was curious as to the decision to include both types of films? 

When selecting films, the programming team was looking to put together a lineup that explored a variety of true crime topics and storytelling techniques. We wanted to make sure we weren't just focusing on violent crimes and serial killers, but also on white collar crimes, human rights violations, and everything else that falls under the crime umbrella. In the same vein, we wanted to make sure we weren't pigeonholing ourselves into being strictly a documentary film festival by showing fictionalized films based on true crimes and hosting symposium events. The true crime genre is made up of more than murder, and we wanted to show that.

                                                              MY NAME IS MYEISHA

3) What are the films that will be showing in this inaugural year?

For our inaugural year, we are are showing the International Premiere of Abducted in Plain Sight and the Canadian Premieres of My Name Is Myeisha, The Stranger, and Hostages, as well as a 15th anniversary screening of Patty Jenkins' Monster. On top of that we have five incredible short films preceding all our features: Maybe If It Were A Nice Room, Traffic Stop, The Sandman, 42 Counts, and Don't Be A Hero.

                                               MONSTER (15th Anniversary Screening)

4) Another great aspect of TTCFF the symposium section.  What are the topics and the speakers that will be participating?

We have three symposium events: "Why Do Women Love True Crime?", "LA Despair: Chasing Death with John Gilmore", and "The Rise Of The Armchair Detective". "Why Do Women Love True Crime?" will be a panel discussion featuring moderator Anne T. Donahue and speakers Keila Woodward, Karen Herland, Catherine Legge, and Rémy Bennett. "LA Despair: Chasing Death with John Gilmore" will be a multimedia presentation from Rémy Bennett. "The Rise Of The Armchair Detective" will be a panel discussion featuring moderator Naben Ruthnum and speakers Joshua Zeman, Christine Pelisek, Kevin Flynn, and Bek and Tyler Allen.

                                                             THE STRANGER

5) This being the first year for the festival, what where some of the challenges of putting together this undertaking? How did the organizing team overcome these challenges?

Oh, gee—what isn't a challenge in the first year of a film festival? Everything has to be done from scratch. Luckily for me, I have a number of friends and colleagues who are passionate about the project and who bring so much skill and knowledge to the table. With them on the team, we have yet to face a challenge we can't overcome.

6) Who are the team of people working behind the scenes on this project?

Besides myself, the TTCFF team consists of Film Programmers Claire Bonduro, Kier-La Janisse (who is also our Symposium Programmer), Steven Landry (who is also our Print Traffic Coordinator), Elizabeth Munro, Gina Rim, and Jeff Wright; Publicist Kaila Hier; Social Media Manager Siân Melton; Front Of House Managers Ali Chappell and Jordan Penny; Box Office Manager Andrea Ziedenberg, Volunteer Coordinator Chris Davies; Guest Coordinator Sara Scott; and the incredible staff at The Royal Cinema and The Monarch Tavern.

                                                        HOSTAGES (Closing Film)

7) How can folks acquire tickets/passes for the films and panel discussions? 15% of ticket sales will be going to charity, what organization(s) is TTCFF supporting?

Our full schedule and ticket information can be found at We have several local charities in mind, but are respectful of the fact that not all organizations want to be listed in association with an event that focuses on the concept of true crime as entertainment. That being said, we are so excited to be able to officially and publicly support the Toronto Rape Crisis Centre/Multicultural Women Against Rape and the Christie Refugee Welcome Centre.

Monday, May 28, 2018


               Speaking with Graham Skipper. Midnight Madness at TIFF September 2017

At the premiere of Ryûhei Kitamura's film Downrange we interviewed Graham Skipper a familiar face at Midnight Madness having appeared in the Midnight Madness premieres  of Almost Human and The Mind's Eye. We spoke of the film he wrote and directed Sequence Break as well as his role in Downrange.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

DOWNRANGE: World Premiere Interviews with Ryûhei Kitamura, Kelly Connaire, Rod Hernandez-Farella, Graham Skipper

                  Director Ryûhei Kitamura speaks with Robert Mitchell about Downrange

On Friday September 15th, 2017 the Ryerson Theater home of Midnight Madness at the Toronto Film Festival saw the return of writer & director Ryûhei Kitamura (Versus, Azumi) and his latest film Downrange. The theater was packed and rocking. Robert and Sarah Mitchell were on the red carpet to speak to Mr. Kitamura and the cast.

Saturday, April 14, 2018

JAMES DEAN'S INDIANA: My visit to Fairmount & Marion, Indiana

                                James Dean 1955                      Robert Mitchell 2018
                                Intersection of Main & Washington Streets Fairmount, Indiana

A couple of days ago I decided to make the drive from Bloomington, IN north to Fairmount and Marion, Indiana to walk around the hometown and birthplace of iconic actor James Dean. The drive is about 2 and half hours and took me through Indianapolis. Once north of Indy you are in the flat farmlands that many think of when one thinks of Indiana. I stopped in Fairmount first and The James Dean Gallery. I spent some time there looking through many items, The fence from Rebel Without A Cause is there and many other items, such as many items and photos from James Dean youth, a picture from his high school basketball days is a standout. Here are a selection of my photos.

                The Winslow Farm where James Dean spent his youth in Fairmount, IN.

                                                 The friendly horses at Winslow Farm.

                                                                 Winslow Farm

                                          The James Dean Gallery. Fairmount, Indiana

                       Cleopatra loves to hangout with visitors at The James Dean Gallery.

                     Bust of James Dean at James Dean Memorial Park. Fairmount, Indiana

                                       James Dean Birth Site Memorial. Marion, Indiana

James Dean's Gravesite at Park Cemetery

Saturday, February 10, 2018

REVENGE World Premiere Interviews with Director/Writer Coralie Fargeat & Matilda Anna Ingrid Lutz

                        Coralie Fargeat & Matilda Lutz share a laugh with Robert Mitchell

One of the most anticipated films the 2017 Midnight Madness lineup at the Toronto International Film Festival was the feature length film debut of writer & director Coralie Fargeat. The plot of the film revolves around three married men one of the guys Richard (Keven Janssens) takes his mistress on an annual hunting trip. It is a trip that will have irreparable actions and dire consequences. Here is Robert Mitchell's interview with Coralie and Matilda.

Friday, November 17, 2017

THE DISASTER ARTIST: James Franco, Ari Graynor, Paul Scheer, Scott Neusatader, Michael H. Weber World Premiere Interviews

      James Franco speaks with Robert Mitchell at The Disaster Artist World Premiere

The Disaster Artist was one of the most anticipated films premiering at the 2017 edition of The Toronto International Film Festival. The movie lived up and exceeded expectations. Robert Mitchell was on the red carpet and spoke with James Franco, Ari Graynor, Paul Scheer, screenwriters Scott Neustader, Michael H. Weber and Composer Dave Potter.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

THE RITUAL World Premiere Interviews David Bruckner, Arsher Ali, Sam Troughton,

  David Bruckner speaking with Robert Mitchell at the world premiere of The Ritual

The Ritual based on the novel by Adam Nevill had it's world premiere at Midnight Madness 2017 at the Toronto International Film Festival. The film marks the feature film directing debut of David Bruckner (V/H/S, Southbound, The Signal. Robert Mitchell was on the red carpet and spoke with Mr. Bruckner as well as actors Arsher and Sam Troughton.