Mamo #227: After After After Dark

Special guest star Adam Lopez, director and founder of the Toronto After Dark Film Festival, joins us to call us out on various colours of carpets for our comments on Episode #225! A spirited conversation about running a genre film festival in the city of Toronto ensues…

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Matt Hodgson

Hey guys,

I enjoyed this podcast a lot more than the earlier one. It was really beneficial to hear your exchanges with Adam, so that listeners can better understand your position.

I’m not sure which Matt doesn’t like the quality of TAD (films, advertising, etc.), as compared with some other festivals, but this was my first year and I was blown away by the quality of some of the films. In particular, Redline, A Lonely Place to Die, Some Guy Who Kills People, The Divide, and The Innkeepers. I hope and suspect that TAD may reach the quality level you’re looking for soon enough (not sarcasm).

I’ll be sure to check out the next podcast now that we’ve broken the ice with this TAD debate!

Andrew James

Yes, great show. The tension in the room at times was palpable. Loved it.

First off, thanks to Adam for all the kind words about the site. And he is indeed correct about where the name RowThree came from and how it even came about. In short, if TAD had never existed, RowThree would not exist. Period. Not sure how “respected” we are, but thanks Adam for saying so!

This show was entertaining, cleared up some things and solidified others. A few things:

1) One of the things Kurt and I talked about on the Cinecast regarding the last episode of Mamo! was how surprised he was that everyone actually took what the Matts said as “gospel”, or that it was somehow relevant. Which the Matts said as much on this episode. Lopez took to your defense, essentially saying, like it or not, you guys are somebody; especially being in the Toronto community. You have voices that are heard loud and clear and as people who are well versed in film and film festivals, your opinion does matter to a lot of people. Not to the same degree obviously, but much as Siskel and Ebert’s word meant something to moviegoers. If you praise something to the nines, people are going to take notice and go check it out. If you rattle cages, people are going to take equal notice and maybe not be as responsive to it as they would have otherwise. Great example: I (and Kurt too) had pretty low interest in Tower Heist. Price propping it up as his favorite movie of the year (almost in Kurt’s case) convinced me to go see the film whereas I probably would not have otherwise. In most cases, no one is going to be upset about you bashing or praising a Michael Bay film or Brett Ratner; they are Hollywood elites and that’s why we all jabber on about movies. When you hit something close to home that is dear to a lot of your listener’s hearts and even some that have worked really hard on delivering a great festival, it’s understandable you’re going to “break some hearts.” In short, you do have a voice, people do listen and therefore I do think that with that voice there is some degree of responsibility. You’re not CNN obviously, but personally, I take what I say publicly pretty seriously these days. Even if only one person is listening, that one thing I say could spiral out of control very quickly.

2) Matt Price – I’m still not completely understanding why you say the TAD lineup is not for you. If not, that’s totally cool. But why do you go and enjoy many of the MidMad films? Fantasia? ActionFest? And not only do you go, you usually come back and say that you saw a lot of great movies that you really enjoyed. So do you really think that TAD is that sub-par in terms of programming compared to those other fests? Sure there are some titles that might not interest you (me too) and many that might be considered sub-standard or cheap looking, but many are going to surprise the hell out of you I think and many that can be classified as truly great (I’ll never forget my Funky Forest experience!). Do you really look at all the titles for TAD, check out the trailers and say, “nope, everything in here looks like junk and not for me,” and then head over to a full 10 nights of MidMad and say “everything” looks great? Or does this all stem from my next point (#3)? Adam Lopez still seemed to be confused at the end of the discussion as well. It feels contradictory. – PS: this is not meant as an attack question, I’m genuinely curious how you view TAD programming (objectively as you can) compared to TIFF MidMad.

3) Thank you, thank you for the full disclosure on Colin Geddes as a friend of many years. The last episode felt very much like a defense piece of Geddes and MidMad and almost like TAD was threatening that in some way. I appreciate you just admitting you went to actionfest because of that loyalty. That’s totally cool and helps me understand why you kept comparing TAD to TIFF MidMad.

Great show as usual (or more than usual) guys, keep it up!

John Newman

That guy comes off a little full of himself and a tool.

Andrew James

No he doesn’t.

Adam Lopez

Just a quick chime in: thank you so much to both Matt Brown and Matt Price for having me on their MamoCast at RowThree this week to address the many concerns Toronto After Dark Film Festival staff and fans had about their last podcast on our event.

As became clear to me, these are two very decent (and witty) guys in person. It is just regrettable that they really did not do their homework on our event before sounding off last time in such a controversial and largely negative way. Also that they were unaware that they DO have an audience that cares about what they think as well as cares about Toronto After Dark. I think the sequel podcast above addresses many of the errors and miscommunications of their original show. Also it was honestly appreciated to hear from Matt Brown a heartfelt apology to our festival supporters about the reaction to their original After After Dark show and praise many of the films in this year’s lineup.

Over six years, Toronto After Dark Film Festival has become a vibrant, world-class, genre film showcase, important to fans, filmmakers, press and distributors from around the world and its undisputed success is a testament to the hard work of hundreds of individuals of which I am honoured to be just one. Thank you to one and all for your support over six amazing years. We look forward to thrilling you all again with some of the world’s finest new genre cinema next October, 18-26, 2012 here in Toronto. And who knows, maybe even Matt Price will come out to our event next year? And the next time he passes verdict on our festival will be after he’s actually attended a screening!

Until then, See You After Dark!
– Adam Lopez, Founder & Festival Director, Toronto After Dark Film Festival