What makes your film picks so engaging?
Curation is about finding patterns, and for me it's about finding what connects us emotionally. Besides, I have the most wonderful guests, so the Q&As are terrific.
Which one of your discoveries do you consider a game-changer?
The Forest for the Trees (Festival 2004) by Maren Ade, from Germany. I wasn't sure what I was seeing when I first watched it, but I knew it was something special. Nowadays there are a lot of films being made in that style: observational, handheld and seemingly improvised. It packed a real punch. We presented the world premiere, and audiences and programmers alike loved it. Turns out it was her film-school graduation work. It makes me smile every time I think of it.
What classic film could use a modern-day take?
Seven Samurai or The Magnificent Seven. The samurais, or cowboys, would be environmentalists and animal activists. The reasons are — I hope — self-evident.
Which movie villain do you secretly sympathize with?
Darth Vader has a very bad rap. Whose kids don't drive them crazy some days?
What movie world do you want to live in?
Any world that has Robert Downey Jr. in it. Wait... I DO live in that world!
Jane Schoettle is an International Programmer for the Toronto International Film Festival®, responsible for programming films from Australia, New Zealand and Israel, as well as American independent cinema. Having joined TIFF in 2002, her keen eye for discovering new talent was confirmed when films she programmed won the Cadillac People’s Choice Award three years running — Hotel Rwanda in 2004, Tsotsi in 2005 and Bella in 2006.
Schoettle is the founder and former Director of the Sprockets Toronto International Film Festival for Children, recognized as one of the top five children’s festivals in the world. During her tenure at Sprockets, she also established the John VanDuzer Children’s Film Collection, which provides teachers with the opportunity to screen engaging and educational films not otherwise available in Canada. She also established Reel Comfort, which brings screenings and workshops to patients in acute care psychiatric wards in hospitals, and Special Delivery, a filmmaking workshop for at-risk youth in under-serviced communities. For three years, Schoettle also programmed TIFF’s subscription series Reel Talk.
Schoettle has worked as a script consultant for private clients and participated in numerous film residency programmes, most recently for the South Australian Film Corporation at the Adelaide Film Festival and for Screen Australia held in Sydney. She has served on numerous international festival juries including events in Scandinavia, Europe, South America and South Asia, and often appears on-camera or in-print as a film expert. She has spoken extensively on the subject of ‘Festival Strategies for Independent Films’, most recently in Auckland, Sydney, Melbourne, SXSW 2010 and 2011, as well as the 2011 Cannes Film Festival.