Looking Back at TIFF and why YOU Should Care About it


The Sundance, Cannes Film Festival, and the Toronto International Film Festival are three of the biggest and most important film festivals of the year—one of them takes place in our backyard. Whether you’re a huge film buff or a casual moviegoer, there are plenty of reasons for why you should care about TIFF.

  1. Awards Season
Via Wikipedia

Do you like to keep a finger on the pulse of pop culture? Do you tune in to the Golden Globes and the Oscars? Well, you’re in luck. Many of the films that will be a part of those conversations premiere right here in Toronto. At last year’s Academy Awards, Julianne Moore went on to win the Best Actress Award for her work in Still Alice; which premiered at 2014’s TIFF. This is also true for 2011’s The King’s Speech, which debuted at TIFF and won best picture at the Oscars.

This year we have The Martian, Matt Damon’s space epic with a cast built for Best Picture. Eddie Redmayne premiered The Danish Girl, yet another movie that will likely propel him into the lead for Best Actor. Tom Hardy’s Legend, Christopher Plummer’s Remember, Brie Larson’s Room, Black Mass, Beasts of No Nation, and many, many more are the films that we are going to be talking about in February, and as a resident of Toronto, you can watch them all here at their world premieres (for really cheap prices, too!).

  1. The Star Power
Getty Images
Getty Images

Remember all those actors and actresses in the paragraph above? Well, that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Jeff Daniels. Jessica Chastain. Kate Mara. Naomi Watts. Idris Elba. Johnny Depp. Emma Watson. Ryan Reynolds. Christopher Walken. Salma Hayek. Natalie Portman.


More important than seeing one of your favorite celebrities is all the information we get out of them at TIFF. Eddie Redmayne talked about the newest Harry Potter movie. Matt Damon said Jason Bourne could “kick the shit out of” Batman! Excited about a movie coming out in 2016 or 2017? Well, chances are the actors and actresses who are part of those projects spoke about them at TIFF.

  1. It is great for Toronto


If you haven’t noticed, Toronto has been taking up a lot more international spotlight than usual in the last couple years. Sure, all the Rob Ford stuff wasn’t good attention, but the film industry has been doing more in Toronto than ever before.

This summer, one of the biggest movies of 2016, Suicide Squad, was all over Toronto. Emma Watson was literally inches

away from the UTM campus last winter when she was filming scenes for an upcoming movie at the church right by Dundas. Daniel Radcliffe’s romantic comedy What If, took place in and was filmed in Toronto. Plus, we can’t forget about the hit TV show Orphan Black. It may not be a movie, but the Toronto-based show is getting all kinds of attention with lead actress Tatiana Maslany’s recent Emmy nomination.

We are all fiercely proud of living in Toronto, and attention like TIFF gives us the opportunity to show the world why we love this city so much. So whether you are a movie buff or just a casual fan, you should be caring about TIFF and all the love it gives this great city.

Nicole Arbour and her Big Fat Opinion

Nicole Arbour

I had no idea who Nicole Arbour was until her video“Dear Fat People,” popped up on my Facebook newsfeed. In the video, she talks about the issue of “fat shaming,” which she believes is not a real thing.

For about six minutes, she rants about her views on fat shaming and fat people in a comedic, satiric, and unrelentingly cruel way. As I watched the video, what was clear was that this girl had opinions that, like many others, I found pretty distasteful.

Shaming in any way can cause very negative effects for those targeted. As a result of the video, Arbour has received a lot of backlash from the public. Arbour claims that she wasn’t trying to be offensive and that the video was all in comedic fun.

In my eyes, shaming is a real problem, whether it has to do with body image, race, sexual orientation, or anything else. Unfortunately, we live in a society that has become accustomed to this type of behaviour. And now, with the Internet and social media, people have a new outlet for their bullying.

When people choose to publicly announce their adverse opinions, we may cringe in disgust. But social media has also provided a new way for us to react to these issues—we like, we share, we comment, and we publicly criticize.

Arbour’s comments came across as harsh, blunt, and ignorant of the real struggles people who have weight issues go through. Because of this, her opinion did not match with that of the majority.

How you respond is up to you. If you haven’t already, you can watch the video. Post your comment. Join in on the discussion and controversy.

Or you can choose to do something different. Ignore the noise of social media. Generate your own opinion, quietly.  



Dear First-Year…


Please Get Involved!

When I graduated from high school, I was peppy, involved, and confident. I had been active in Student Council, Theatre Night, the Sears Drama Festival, Zonta, and numerous other clubs. My extracurriculars were my life.

But when I came to UTM for my first year, I got stuck in a sad bubble without them.

I felt like a robot at work, in school, and in life. It took a lot of motivation for me to find a new outlook and some extracurriculars for my second year. I didn’t even realize that my involvement was what had kept me happy in high school.

First-years, don’t let this happen to you!

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How I Got Over my Fears in the Gym

As a workout junkie, the gym facility was the first spot I explored at UTM.tumblr_mcqrcrpalv1r7rk26

The RAWC gym has housed my adrenaline-deprived body for the last five years. I swim, run, and cycle there. I practice Yogilates and Pilates. If fact, in my opinion, nothing beats a good ol’ boot camp class—an intense cardio session that challenges every physical limit you have.

But I used to stay away from two spots—the inside part of the gym near the weights section, where the men mostly are, and the high performance centre, a strength training facility.

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My Goals and the New Year

I’ve heard it said that the best way to stick to a goal is to write it down. When you plan to do something, document the process. This is evidence. The next step is to post it somewhere visible. This is a constant reminder of what you’re working to accomplish.

giphyNow get out a blank piece of paper and a writing instrument. Write down one thing you want to accomplish. I’m doing it with you.

Here are my two goals for the year:

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Dear First-Year…


brace-yourself-changes-m13oth 2

Dear first-year reader,

Embrace change.

Believe me when I tell you that those days that seem so frustrating are just one of the many chapters of our university life. Getting lost trying to find the tutorial rooms in the basement of Davis was only one of the struggles I faced as a first-year with ambitious dreams. September 2014 was the year I learned that we need to embrace change and that things always have a way of working out.

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