There’s so much to do and see during the Toronto International Film Festival, which kicked off its 44th year last Thursday and comes to a close on Sunday. But no matter which screening or event you attend, there’s one person who’ll likely be in the house: TIFF’s Artistic Director and Co-Head, Cameron Bailey.
It’s not a stretch imagining Bailey’s calendar during the 11-day festival (and that of Joana Vicente, with whom he shares Co-Head duties) has been strategically-scheduled, down to the minute, and color-coded. Perhaps that’s why I was surprised to see him three times during my four-and-a-half days of film-hopping.
First, in Theater 1 of TIFF’s legendary Bell Lightbox, where he led a spirited conversation with Just Mercy stars Jamie Foxx and Michael B. Jordan. Then, at the world premiere of Dolemite is My Name at the Princess of Wales Theater, he introduced and interviewed the cast, including Eddie Murphy, who was greeted with uproarious applause. I saw Bailey a final time when he arrived at Momofuku Noodle Bar on University Avenue to greet guests at the 4th annual luncheon hosted by the African-American Film Critics Association. Each time I saw him, he was prepared, personable and on-point. Simply stated, Cameron Bailey represents, well.