It was years and years ago. Our household had just welcomed the latest in technology – a VCR! – and I went on a recording spree, taping every movie that appeared on TV, regardless of the genre. A few romantic comedies here, a few action thrillers there. For the most part, I was building my “movie collection”, with three movies to a 6-hour tape at a time.
Somewhere along the way, I recorded a whimsical tale of love and betrayal, action and adventure. I was hooked from the minute it began to the moment it ended; I pictured myself as the beautiful damsel in distress, waiting to be saved by her knight in shining armor. And the knight ? Oh yeah, incredibly hot. Even by my 12-year old standards.
It was the movie that started my love affair with films. I watched it over and over until the VHS tape started to lose integrity. To this day, I can recite every line by heart.
This is the movie. Chances are, it’s one of your all-time favourites, too.
Fast forward to 1999.
It was a late summer afternoon. The time was 3:15pm and I sat in ECN 202, the dreaded macroeconomics for business students. Outside, I could hear the low buzz of voices; I could feel the quiet anticipation. It was smack in the middle of the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) and, being a Ryerson student meant that I was just steps away from the famed Ryerson Theatre.
A fellow student leaned over and whispered that she couldn’t make that night’s screening – would I like her ticket? That night, I watched American Beauty – a movie that went on to win five (5) Academy Awards.
TIFF is one of the most prestigious film festivals in the world. Today, and after Time Magazine noted in 2007 that the festival had “grown from its place as the most influential fall film festival to the most influential film festival, period”, the event draws in actors and celebrities alike. And, if you haven’t heard, TIFF has a reputation for screening Oscar-winning films – American Beauty, Ray, The Wrestler, Black Swan, Slumdog Millionaire, Precious, The King’s Speech and Argo all premiered at the festival.
RBC was once again an Official Sponsor of the world’s top public film festival:
“As the premier bank for the Canadian film industry, RBC works with many talented filmmakers, actors, directors, screenwriters, production companies and distributors to help them create their vision and achieve success in the movie business. Investing in the arts is a longstanding priority for RBC, and we recognize the vital role the arts play in enriching the lives of Canadians. By supporting arts and culture, from music and dance to theatre and visual arts, we pay particular attention to helping emerging artists such as dancers, painters, musicians, filmmakers and singers, develop and progress along their professional careers.”
If you’ve been following along on Twitter, you’ll know that I partnered with RBC to reward RBC Avion cardholders. While the #AvionVIP street team had been hard at work doling out perks such as free tickets to screenings, complimentary popcorn and more, I was handing out Visa Gift Cards via Twitter to Avion cardholders who tweeted their favourite features of the card.
(Wondering what my favourite feature is? Three Words: Trip Cancellation Insurance. HELLO!)
Two Saturdays ago, I visited the RBC Canada pavilion at TIFF and live tweeted… in the pouring rain.
(Yikes! It was quite the adventure.)
Regardless, it was great to see part of the RBC street team in action – handing out popcorn to every movie goer who walked by, chatting with fans about the festival and their favourites, and encouraging bystanders to participate in a little movie trivia too. And just like true Torontonians, the inclement weather didn’t dampen our spirits one bit. The excitement in the air was tangible as movie buffs clutched their screening tickets, anxious to make their way to the screening.
Of course, a few of those ticket holders were there as Avion VIPs!
Are you a movie buff? Have you watched a screening at the Toronto International Film Festival?