×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Toronto Film Festival Chief Michele Maheux on What’s New This Year

The Toronto Film Festival’s executive director and chief operating officer Michele Maheux is a lifelong film enthusiast: She began her career while still at university, selling popcorn in Toronto’s now-defunct Phoenix Theatre. From that humble start, she’s moved up the ranks at TIFF after stints in exhibition and marketing. She’s now part of TIFF’s programming team (Netherlands and Ireland are her purview) in addition to overseeing TIFF’s year-round operations and its more than C$40 million ($51 million) annual budget.

Maheux is a dedicated fashionista and champion of Canadian designers. Without a doubt, she’s also a tireless advocate for the film-centric org. TIFF runs Sept. 8-18.

What’s new at TIFF this year?

We’re retrofitting a (Lightbox) flat-floor multi-use cinema for virtual reality during the last three days of festival. Although it’s new for us and we’re doing it on a very small scale, we’re making sure it’s a high-caliber experience. It’s a pop-up.

Who are you most looking forward to introducing?

I would have to name the special presentation by Paul Verhoeven that was at Cannes, “Elle,” starring Isabelle Huppert. She’s in a number of films at the festival this year, she’s this year’s “it” girl. We’re doing an In Conversation with her, as well.

What’s new at the festival for industry attendees?

The Filmmakers’ Lounge: We’ve taken a space that wasn’t quite constructed, right behind our building. On the main floor is an Artscape environment and we’re taking it over as a sponsored Filmmakers’ Lounge. It will be the hub for credentialed filmmakers, a place that will give them their own home. It’s a day-to-day place where they can go and find each other.

Favorite festival close spots?

Around the area, Momofuku by David Chang is fantastic; the Ivan Reitman-owned Montecito has really good food and consistently fabulous service. I like Canteen in our building for their steel-cut oats at breakfast, which keep you going for most of the day. For lunch, I like Cibo Wine Bar for fantastic Italian, big salads, and great antipasti. The Hyatt Hotel has a hole-in-the-wall gelato bar. After hours, I like the Shangri-la Lobby Bar or the Ritz Carlton terrace — it’s very private and very dark so you can hide. The bar at Montecito is one of my favorite places.

Tips for TIFF first-timers? 

Bring a number of shoe changes. Dress in layers. Take vitamins. Eat healthfully.

More Film

  • Agustina San Martin Talks Cannes Special

    Agustina San Martin Talks Cannes Special Mention Winner ‘Monster God’

    CANNES – An exploration of the ramifications of God, “Monster God,” from Argentina’s Agustina San Martín, took a Special Mention – an effective runner’s up prize – on Saturday night at this year’s Cannes Film Festival short film competition. It’s not difficult to see why, especially when jury president Claire Denis own films’ power resists [...]

  • Atlantics

    Netflix Snags Worldwide Rights to Cannes Winners 'Atlantics,' 'I Lost My Body'

    Mati Diop’s feature directorial debut “Atlantics” and Jérémy Clapin’s animated favorite “I Lost My Body” have both been acquired by Netflix following wins at Cannes Film Festival. “Atlantics” was awarded the grand prix while “I Lost My Body” was voted the best film at the independent International Critics Week. The deals are for worldwide rights [...]

  • Stan Lee, left, and Keya Morgan

    Stan Lee's Former Business Manager Arrested on Elder Abuse Charges

    Stan Lee’s former business manager, Keya Morgan, was arrested in Arizona Saturday morning on an outstanding warrant from the Los Angeles Police Department. The LAPD’s Mike Lopez confirmed that the arrest warrant was for the following charges: one count of false imprisonment – elder adult; three counts of grand theft from elder or dependent adult, [...]

  • Moby attends the LA premiere of

    Moby Apologizes to Natalie Portman Over Book Controversy

    Moby has issued an apology of sorts after writing in his recently published memoir “Then It Fell Apart” that he dated Natalie Portman when she was 20 — a claim the actress refuted. “As some time has passed I’ve realized that many of the criticisms leveled at me regarding my inclusion of Natalie in Then [...]

  • Bong Joon-ho reacts after winning the

    Bong Joon-ho's 'Parasite' Wins the Palme d'Or at Cannes

    CANNES — The 72nd edition of the Cannes Film Festival wrapped with jury president Alejandro González Iñárritu announcing the group’s unanimous decision to award the Palme d’Or to South Korean director Bong Joon-ho for his sly, politically charged “Parasite.” Following last year’s win for humanistic Japanese drama “Shoplifters,” the well-reviewed Asian thriller represents the yin [...]

  • Invisible Life Brazilian Cinema

    Cannes Film Review: 'The Invisible Life of Eurídice Gusmão'

    A “tropical melodrama” is how the marketing materials bill “The Invisible Life of Eurídice Gusmão.” If that sounds about the most high-camp subgenre ever devised, Karim Aïnouz’s ravishing period saga lives up to the description — high emotion articulated with utmost sincerity and heady stylistic excess, all in the perspiring environs of midcentury Rio de [...]

  • Best Movies of Cannes 2019

    The 10 Best Movies of Cannes 2019

    The Cannes Film Festival is too rich an event to truly have an “off” year, but by the end of the 72nd edition, it was more or less universally acknowledged that the festival had regained a full-on, holy-moutaintop-of-art luster that was a bit lacking the year before. It helps, of course, to have headline-making movies [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content