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Toronto Urban Film Festival: Who Will Win? Only Mark McKinney Knows for Sure

The 2008 finalists have been announced earlier this summer for the Toronto Urban Film Festival, The Film Festival for Commuters (http://www.torontourbanfilmfestival.com) presented by Heineken. Finalists include an eclectic mix of professional and non-professional filmmakers, videographers and animators from across Canada and around the world. All finalists will have their films screened to over 1 million daily commuters on ONESTOP’s digital network of over 300 Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) subway platform screens starting September 5 and continuing to September 12. 77 films, in total, made the cut.

Over 240 submissions were received this year with finalists selected by a jury that included several local figures from the art, film and urban design community. Among the finalists named are the seven winners of this year’s Trinity Square Video Pitch, a partnership between TUFF and Trinity Square Video (http://www.trinitysquarevideo.com/). Mark McKinney (Saturday Night Live, Kids in the Hall, Brain Candy), this year’s guest judge, will choose the top three films of the festival. That announcement will be made at the TUFF Awards Ceremony at the Drake Hotel (http://www.thedrakehotel.ca/) on September 14th.

Among the more unique films in the line-up are Jeremy Bailey’s Your Ad Here, Anna-Lea Boeki’s The Kissing Project, Sean Wilson’s Recursion, Lena Chun’s Disposal World, Corwyn Lund’s Swingsite and Hayley Redpath’s Like No One’s Watching. All films are less than 1 minute in length and silent.

Your Ad Here - Artist Jeremy Bailey turns his body into a billboard during a real-time virtual performance where ads scroll on his block-shaped head and plasma gun-shaped arms.

The Kissing Project - Anna-Lea Boeki - Kissing couples of all persuasions surprise weekend strollers at Toronto’s Harbourfront Centre in this sexy, performance-based video.

Recursion - Sean Wilson - A woman waiting for the subway suddenly finds herself sucked-in to a claustrophobic encounter with the ONESTOP screens.

Disposal World - Lena Chun – A fast-paced and darkly humorous animation about the disposability of even the most precious things in the urban mindset.

Swingsite - Corwyn Lund – Swingsite documents a playground swing installed by the artist in a narrow gap between two buildings, transforming an unused space into a public artwork, and an unofficial Toronto landmark.

Like No One’s Watching - Hayley Redpath – A woman waiting for the bus has a hilarious encounter with a man who is lost in his own musical world.

This year’s TUFF jury included: Richard Fung (video artist and culture critic), Judy Gladstone (Bravo!Fact), Michelle Jacques (assistant curator, AGO), Brenda Longfellow (filmmaker and writer), Deirdre Logue (film and video artist), Jason St-Laurent (artist and curator) and Robert Ouellette (blogger and urban thinker).

This is the second year for the Toronto Urban Film Festival (TUFF), the only film festival of its kind in North America. Title sponsor for the event is Heineken (http://www.heineken.ca/).

For a list of all 77 films, and for more information on TUFF, visit http://www.torontourbanfilmfestival.com. You can also find us on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com.

TUFF filmmakers retain rights to their films, and receive $150 per selected film: $75 for taking part in TUFF on the TTC, and $75 for being a part of the Website. Prizes include: a trip to Aruba from Belair Travel; a Sony HD Camcorder with accessory kit; Sony Digital Cameras; MP3 Players; and a dinner at the Drake Hotel with a notable filmmaker.

Art for Commuters and Onestop Media Group acknowledge the support of the Ontario Arts Council and the Canada Council for the Arts, which last year invested $11.8 million in media arts throughout Canada.

About Art for Commuters (A4C) - http://www.art4commuters.com
Art for Commuters puts art on urban screens. The same team that produces the Toronto Urban Film Festival also organizes ‘Words Travel Fast’ and ‘Contacting Toronto’ on the Onestop Network.

About ONESTOP Media Group - http://www.onestopmediagroup.com
ONESTOP Media Group is a turn-key Out-of-Home Digital network operator. ONESTOP's expertise in the retail, hospitality, and transit industries is recognized by clients such as, Toronto Transit Commission, Hilton Hotels, Sporting Life, Queen's University and The Wall Street Journal.

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