( Written September 2012) This past summer I had the opportunity to volunteer and work at the Toronto International Film Festival. To say the least, I had an amazing experience! Not only was I able to watch FREE movies (we’ll get to those later, and yes I’m rubbing it in) but I was also able to network.  I would highly recommend anyone studying public relations (or a related field) to start off by volunteering for TIFF. Not only is it an excellent way to get your foot in the door, especially if you’re looking to network your way into the entertainment industry, It’s also a great way to catch some great FREE movies (which is normally why people get involved with the festival in the first place), as I’ve been fortunate to do, on more than one occasion

 Here are some of the excellent screenings I chose to attend… 
Bad 25  : Spike Lee’s account of the making of the re-release of Michael Jackson’s “Bad” Album

How To Make Money Selling Drugs:  DON’T let the name fool you! This documentary was actually very well done. It’s a light-hearted take on a very serious subject, the “war on drugs”. Definitely a must see!

Reincarnated: A documentation of Snoop Dogg’s transformation into the Rastafarian culture from a “Dogg” to “Snoop Lion” while he visited Jamaica.  Once you’re able to see through the smoke (literally), this documentary wasn’t too bad. It’s his story of his journey through one phase of his life, to that of a path of a “higher” calling (if you get my drift). 

For anybody interested, TIFF offers numerous employment opportunities throughout the year, as well as excellent summer internship opportunities. If you’re a movie junkie, looking to expand your network, or if you just want to have fun, I would highly recommend getting involved with TIFF, as a great start.

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