With several news postings on the most recent events still being in the pipeline, we would like to bring you the promised and long-overdue
update today. Our
reporter Marci went to the festival in September to see both
»Into the Forest«
, and came back with many impressions as well as footage which she is now going to share with us in the following sections. We can't thank her enough for all the support and the effort she put into this in the past few days! May it be an encouragement for others to do the same as we love to post and share such fan contributions here on the site!
My TIFF 2015
Ready to Roll:
I was vacationing in New Jersey when the tickets went on sale. I remember waking up at 8 in the morning to log on to the TIFF site. Tickets were going to go on sale at 9am. As soon as it turned 9, I clicked the purchase button. It immediately took me to a wait list! I was the 798th person! How is that possible!??! This was torture. I was panicking that I wouldn’t get a ticket for either this film or Freeheld! After waiting for about an hour, it was my turn and I was able to purchase both tickets! My excitement was through the roof! On the day of my flight, I honestly don’t know what I packed. I knew I wasn’t going to sleep or eat. I was just focusing on these two flicks and hoping to see my favourite human in the world: Ellen Page.
I currently live in Los Angeles, CA so I flew from LAX to TX to TOR. The travel time was pretty rough and I barely slept since I went to the airport straight from work. Once I got to Texas, I got a bit nervous because the two gates beside me had destinations to Alberta and Montreal and they were getting canceled due to weather. Everything was running smoothly, but my gate was hard to locate. I finally just sat and waited until an attendant came on shift with information. They finally announced that they would start boarding for the Toronto flight in a few minutes. I was so relieved. As I waited for the plane to arrive, I became friends with a cute old couple who were traveling to Halifax for the first time! I told them I’ve been there twice and told them the best human was from there and gave them a 101 course on Halifax and Ellen Page. They were even more excited for their trip! I finally landed and rushed to my friend’s place to drop my luggage and get a schedule of the festival. I attempted to take a power nap so I wouldn’t fall asleep in the film or by walking. I failed. I was too excited to sleep, so I headed to the theatre.
Into the Forest (Saturday, September 12th - 8:30 PM) Venue and Ellen Entrance
I came into a rainy, chilly day in Toronto. Found my way as if I was there the day before. I began lining up for the first Ellen flick »Into The Forest« directed by the wonderful Patricia Rozema. I lined up about 3 hours in advance to get a good seat. People were already showing up to line up too, but I was still in the front so that was a relief. It was already around 8PM and Ellen Page and
Evan Rachel Wood
were running late. All of sudden Evan arrived. The crowd went wild! She stepped across the street to greet some fans. By then it was around 8:15 or so. Ellen Page arrived; the roar seemed to be much louder. Fans across the street were going nuts! Everyone by me was commenting on how tiny she is, how beautiful she is etc.
“She’s so cute!”, “Aw, she even says hi in the rain”, “She’s so awesome getting wet to say hi to her fans”, “She’s perfect”, “You think she will come to our side?”, “Aw she’s stepping on the curb to take a picture! So cute!” “Ellen I love you!” “Hi Ellen!”
These are some comments I heard from strangers on the line that stuck with me. Something creepy did happen though. When Ellen entered the theatre everyone kept hearing a loud chant in the back. The noise got louder and louder, the crowd got bigger and bigger. Turns out, we were getting hit with a protest. Around 200 people entered the blocked pathway where only Ellen and Evan were allowed. Police couldn’t even control this, but the protesters didn’t seem threatening so we just waited this out which delayed the premiere even more. It was a Middle Eastern protest holding up disturbing messages and images to stop violence in their countries. They just wanted us to hear them out and I am glad we did. We finally got the green light to enter the theatre around 9:30 PM, I was power walking with a friend to get a good seat. Of course, who is right in front of me? Ellen Page. That’s the second time this has happened. Where I walk and she’s like right there. She was giving an interview, I could see her wet hair, and noticed we were practically wearing the same jacket! So that was super cool. I then walked towards the stairs where they told us to go and got distracted when I saw her girlfriend, Samantha Thomas, her friends, Ian Daniel and Alia Shawkat (Whip It) standing right next to the step I was about to take. I remember stopping awkwardly and just staring at her girlfriend, then she noticed me looking at her and I ran like crazy. That was so embarrassing. The venue was absolutely beautiful. It felt like you were in the forest. There were branches above, trees everywhere, it was a small theatre but gorgeous. Just perfect for the showing! I happened to be in the front row, so I got a great view. I wore my
Evan Rachel Would
shirt and Evan immediately pointed at me and smiled while Patricia spoke. In the video clip sent to you, you can see the director (
) introducing her cast one by one and Ellen Page being the last, the crowd goes wild again. All dressed in black and with a huge smile on her face, her producing debut! She looked adorable as ever!
Gallery update: TIFF 2015 - »Into the Forest« World Premiere (TeamEPO)
This film was so different, so great, so believable, so artistic. This film caught me by surprise because there were scenes shown that I never imagined Ellen would do. It has been a while since she had been the main character of a film so this was just perfect. I was Ellen drunk. It was fabulous. The film seemed to take place in the future where technology revolved in everyone’s daily routine. Air screens would appear as phone calls or as TV etc. Eva (Evan) was the older sister, very quiet, to herself and a struggling dancer trying to make an audition. She would lock herself in a room and dance her routines repetitively (Not to mention the song she dances to is absolutely spectacular). Nell (Ellen) would be the young one trying to pass her SATs. She was also the flirt who falls for this guy and skips town to be with him, leaving her sister all by herself, talking back to her father, a very needy person. She goes from a slightly difficult person to an extremely mature person once they lose their father in a freak accident. Other intense things happen in between of course. I could go on and on about this movie. It is a must see.
Here are some parts of the film that I found to be brave and different from all of Ellen’s movies. Some parts she has played in the past to give you a whole perspective of this new role: (Victim of torture, archictect, pregnant teenager, anarchist, typical girlfriend, action figure, Sporty rollerskater, Young mother, bipolar teen, Torturer, foster child.)
Ellen was pretty much in every single scene and her performance was intense going from funny, stubborn, intelligent, flirty, emotional and more. Not only was she starring in the film, but also this was her first producing gig. When the film ended, a huge applause occurred when Ellen’s name appeared on screen. The cast was brought back on stage to get ready to answer some questions from the audience. To be honest throughout the entire movie my heart was racing due to the excitement, then it started to race because of what was happening in the film. The film kept me at the edge of my seat until the end. I was bit nervous and shaky when the film ended but I still wanted to see if I can have a moment and talk to the ladies and ask them a question. I had about 30 seconds. I was literally going blank. Then I finally thought of one. I asked my friend Chloe who I met in the line to videotape my question if I got picked. I don’t know how I got lucky to get picked but I did. Here is how the dialogue sort of went: (Trying to remember):
This film was great but left me quite shaky, I’m actually terrified of the woods.
Then this must have been a nightmare for you! Look where you are, this venue looks like the forest haha!
Wait, did you not read the title of this film…?
I did! Haha anyways! There were a lot of intense scenes happening so I was wondering if there were any injuries behind the scenes maybe bugs? or splinters? Broken bones?
I don’t remember the response because it was so hectic and Ellen and Evan seemed to answer the question together so they overlapped in talking. (All videotaped).
OH YES! Evan got attacked by mosquitoes. I have never seen so many bug bites in my life before.
All those calluses in the movie were real. It hurt a lot.
Can you stand up for me? I want everyone to see your shirt. Me: OK, but I am having a terrible hair day.
(I was. I was jetlagged). (Laughter)
Patricia also made me stand up in front of everyone, I showed them my Evan Rachel Would shirt Friends of the Children, and she explained the meaning of it. That was pretty rad.
is picking up this film. Thank goodness! I hope there will be more theatre releases of this movie. It was really effin good. Excuse my French.
Freeheld (Sunday, September 13th - 9:30 PM) Hi Ellen
This was a gala held at the Roy Thompson Theatre - Famous for being super glamourous. Top celebrities come here all the time, however it’s extremely difficult to meet them in person. I gave myself about 3 hours to line up, so I had a bit of time. I walked into the red carpet area to check out the place to find myself a spot to stand where I would see Ellen. Turns out by 3PM the entire TIFF rail was full! People had been waiting since morning! I can’t believe I didn’t step my game up. I had to figure out how to squeeze in somehow. I was losing hope, but eventually I stuck my arm somewhere and squeezed my way into a great spot! 6 hours later, no Ellen sighting, no one really. They were running so late! And there was a rumor that if I didn’t get seated by 9:30 they wouldn’t let me in the theatre. So I was panicking. I really wanted to see her and see the film!
arrived first, then
, then the real Dane Wells and Stacie Andree, then
. Ellen arrived at 9:15 haha! Her huge entourage stepped out of the black car. She came to the rail to sign some autographs and greet fans. My chances of my seeing her were slimming because her publicist was shuffling her from rail to rail so many fans were being skipped. All of sudden a huge chant began from both sides of the rails!
“ELLEN! ELLEN! ELLEN!”
I was joining the chant so I forgot to videotape (Living in the moment). I got so lucky. The publicist had turned Ellen to the other side then switched her back to my side and her and I made eye contact right away. I gave her this look like ‘Please don’t skip me’ it worked! But she looked at me looking pretty overwhelmed with all the loud cheering, like in a good way. She seemed surprised. And she’s like “Whoa! Hi!” And then we took a selfie together. I remember her perfume smelling really good too haha. She was so cute! I found Ellen to be incredibly elegant. So well dressed, her tie was perfect, her hairstyle was so perfect, and most importantly this woman was smiling so hard. This was such a 360 compared to the last time when I saw her at Sundance when she looked so depressed. So sad to know what was hurting her back then, but glad to see her smiling and actually enjoying the red carpet and all of celebrity stuff now that she is herself. There was a big crowd behind me trying to get a glimpse of Ellen, it was actually getting a bit uncomfortable. It literally felt like a mosh pit. After I said my hello to Ellen, I rushed to the theatre to be let in. I regret doing that because I missed the rest of Ellen on the red carpet especially her debut with her girlfriend or with Stacie Andree. Such. A. Bummer!
Luckily people weren’t let in yet, so I had to go to the very back of the line. And it took me around the entire building. It was so packed! They had Kleenex as their sponsor, which was intimidating. They were handing out tissues. I’m like is it seriously that sad?? I took 2. This theatre is beautiful, and so huge, but a small screen I must say. I got a balcony seat. Ellen, Julianne Moore, Peter Sollett, and Michael Shannon sat together under me to the right on another balcony. The introduction began with Peter introducing the present cast on stage. They gave the spotlight to the family they were portraying and everyone gave a standing ovation (even before the film had started).
Thank you Kleenex. They were right. This was absolutely needed. There were 3 scenarios that hit me in the heart real good. I felt like the film was a bit rushed though, I wish there was more scenes of the relationship between Stacie and Laurel about how they met and life in the house for a bit before the diagnosis. I can see how squeezing everything that happened in those years into a 90 min feature would be challenging of course. It’s devastating to see what happened to this couple. I feel like many people won’t see this film because it’s ‘Gay’ flick. I already experienced that in asking people about the film and talking about it. It’s frustrating to know that because it gives them a bigger reason to see this film!!! Once the film finished, everyone stood up and gave another standing ovation with the spotlight on the family and the cast.
These were the main points that hit the core emotionally.
Gallery update: TIFF 2015 - »Freeheld« World Premiere (TeamEPO)
I was under the impression this had a Q&A but there wasn’t! Totally understandable though. People were so great throughout the film. The crowd felt the same feelings. We all rooted when Stacie (EP) kicked the guy’s ass in changing the tires, people were laughing out loud when Laurel pulled a gun in front of her first date with Stacie, then there was a huge clap when a cop came out to everyone at work and said “I’m going to the meeting to support people like me.” Looking around you see people weeping towards the end. I remember going to see this the 2nd time at the Arclight in Los Angeles and just out of curiosity I was staring at the people in front of me to see how they were taking this film. All I saw were people weeping. When the movie finished, I walked out of the theatre where I saw a lovely couple standing and the man asked his boyfriend/husband “So what’d you think?’ He answered, “Um…(sigh) yeah that was really emotional. That was really hard to watch…just everything that happened”. I couldn’t listen anymore because I didn’t want to make myself obvious.
I remember not understanding homosexuality back then, I wasn’t too exposed to it until college. I befriended a really nice, sweet, gay friend of mine. I didn’t know the abuse and discrimination it came with until he spoke to me about it. Since then I have felt nothing but love for the LGBT community. This film can affect anyone whether you’re straight, gay, trans. Imagine the love of your life leaving this world. I think what touched me the most was watching how protective and concerned Stacie was towards Laurel which I found to be so adorable. To know she is going to lose her partner any moment now and to have this pension issue occur in the middle of everything is incredibly hard to take in. Even if Ellen weren’t in the film, I would still watch this. This is so important to see and so heartbreaking.
We’ve come a long way though for the LGBT community which is a great sign. A big part of it is owed to Laurel Hester.
I’ve already seen this 3 times since TIFF. It’s amazing. It’s a must watch.