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After the film Argo had its world premiere at the Toronto International Festival in September, friends of Ken Taylor, Canada’s former ambassador to Iran, criticized it for minimizing Canada’s role in the real-life events that inspired the film. Critics say that the film suggests that the CIA were the real heroes of the rescue mission and that for political reasons, Canada took the credit. It also paid short shrift to Taylor’s role as the mastermind of the operation.

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History
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When Ken Taylor arrived in Iran for his first ambassadorial posting, he had no reason to expect anything but a serene time as a promoter of Canadian business and trade. Instead, he ran headlong into the Ayatollah Khomeini’s Iranian Revolution.

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Entrance to the TIFF Lightbox Theatre (Image: TIFF).

“If there is anything the Festival of Festivals should avoid becoming, it is the Cannes Film Festival.” Jay Scott, film critic, The Globe and Mail, 1981

The Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), now in its 37th year, is one of the world’s great film festivals without question. Second only to the Cannes Film Festival in terms of audience/press attendance, prestige and number of films screened; yet, since it opened its impressive five-story digs – known by its corporate name, the Bell Lightbox – in the heart of Toronto’s entertainment district in 2010, many questions remain unanswered. The big one being: how do you fill the 1,400 seats in the five state-of-the-art cinemas beyond the festival’s 11-day run during the first two weeks of September?

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TIFF 2011
The Toronto International Film Festival is upon us, and with it, a crop of homegrown films from both new and established directors and stars. Here, a taste of what’s to come:

Bruce McDonald returns with Hard Core Logo, his hilarious and deftly written 1996 punk rock mockumentary (named the second best Canadian film in the past 15 years by Playback) and its anticipated sequel Hard Core Logo II.

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