ED’s Countdown to the Festival: T-1

So much for one post a day…!

Well this is it, last day before the festival, and thank god for daylight savings for that one glorious and much needed hour to catch up on sleep.   After months of trying to keep our back room usable and workable and walkable it now looks like it’s a dumping ground for cardboard boxes and takeout containers… because at this point we just need somewhere, anywhere, to keep all the stuff that is piling up and ready to ship out tomorrow.

The great news is that the films are selling super well with some already sold out in advance!  With a move to the much larger Royal this year we weren’t sure what kind of sell outs we would have but 2 of our Canadian programs TRAILBLAZERS and PEARLS OF THE FAR EAST are selling like crazy (but don’t worry you can still buy tickets at the festival, including the day of.  Just come early!)

We only have 1 thing on our plates for tomorrow – the Opening Night Gala – but in fact this is a six-part massive undertaking starting with a Red Carpet Reception, a Red Carpet, the intro speeches + pre-film performances, the film itself, the Q&A, and finally the Opening Night Gala Party at Crown Princess. Countless countless hours have been spent planning for these events and it all go down tomorrow night.  Though given that this is my third year, I don’t have the same jitters as I once did, instead, am kind of giddy with excitement, like a kid on their birthday.

I also feel incredibly grateful for the weather forecast for tomorrow – cloudy in the morning but clearing up for the evening.  I don’t know if I have the stomach for our rain contingency plan.

Managed to send out the final member packages, make final plans with National Bank, discuss our VIP guests with Louanne and Aram, strategize about filmmaker hosting with Heather and Vicci, re-arrange our car rental to accommodate a late departure, prep the Globe Recognition packages, finalize my Opening Night speaking notes, sign contracts with both of our festival drivers, help Chris distribute the Will-Call tickets, send badges out to board members, prepare my festival binder, finalize the red carpet guest list, and even get my husband organized with all of our friends’ ticket purchases.

Who’s in the hot seat: I guess that’s me.  I keep telling all the staff that Opening Night is our most important night of the festival, it sets the tone for the rest of the week.  We pull out all the stops on Opening Night which means we also stretch ourselves to the max to make everything run smoothly and spectacularly.   For me, Opening Night is the night where all of our most important guests are in attendance, from filmmaker Derek Tsang all the way from Hong Kong, to festival founder Anita Lee, to our major supporters Minister Chan and Olivia Chow.   No matter what happens, must not let anyone see me sweat.

See you all at the festival!