TIFF has direct ties to Panama
Yolanda and I are in Toronto to attend the 35th Anniversary of TIFF - the Toronto International Film Festival - now the largest film festival in the world - both in terms of attendance: 500,000 tickets sold in 10 days last year, and revenue; $170 Million generated for the City of Toronto last year alone.
TIFF now has a direct link to Panama.
Yolanda (who now resides permanently in Santa Clara, Panama) is the only daughter of Henk Van Der Kolk, one of the original Founders of TIFF. She grew up working on the Festival in both paid and unpaid positions right up until she attended OCA (the Ontario College of Art).
As a Founder, Henk has a Golden Lifetime Membership which gets him (and us) into all the galas, the star-studded world premiers and special VIP events. This year the Founders are being honored and will walk the red carpet in a special ceremony. Virtually everybody who is anybody in film will be here. It is a heady time.
TIFF has done so much to develop the film industry in Canada. When Henk and Bill Marshall started the film festival in 1975 there was very little film production in Canada - in fact there were only two film crews in the entire country. Today there are many dozens of crews, complete film studios, sound stages, post production facilities, film schools, rental facilities, and many, many internationally recognized film and television productions.
The film industry generates tremendous profits for the country and creates tens of thousands of jobs.
In addition to the Founder's honors, this year is an even more special anniversary for the family: Henk's first feature; OUTRAGEOUS starring Craig Russell (which won awards at virtually every major film festival in the world including a Silver Bear award for Best Film at the prestigious Berlin Film Festival) will open the "TIFF for Free" program, and will be the first film screened at the exciting new Bell Lightbox Festival Center in downtown Toronto. This $200 million dollar year-round film screening center will add an exciting new dimension to TIFF - and escalate film education in Canada even further.
Henk Van Der Kolk will be coming to Panama to attend the Canada Panama Association's Thanksgiving Dinner on Oct 9th and staying to visit his daughter and son-in-law - yours truly. Don't tell anyone, but I am hoping to talk Henk and Yanka into a much longer stay.
If you have not booked your tickets to this great event in support of the Hospital for Sick Children in Panama City - contact David Young at Newsroom Panama: www.newsroompanama.com
Tickets are only $45. Come and meet Henk, the Canadian Ambassador to Panama, The UK Ambassador and many other dignitaries.
You can even bid on a new painting of a Canadian fall scene donated by renown artist Yolanda Van Der Kolk. A show of Yolanda's nudes and figurative works is now on display on her site: www.yolandavanderkolk.com
The event is selling out, so book your tickets soon. Roberto