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.