Why should audiences watch TIFF docs?
These will be films that you can't stop thinking about for weeks, months and years to come. They will become a part of you, like cells in your body.
What film discovery has changed the way you see things?
The Island President (Festival 2011). I remember being mesmerized by Mohamed Nasheed, the Maldives dissident-turned-president fighting to prevent climate change from sinking his country. He came to the Festival to watch the doc for the first time at its premiere, and then participated in a Mavericks conversation. The film went on to win the People's Choice Documentary Award. Several months later, Nasheed was overthrown by his political opponents, but the film continues to spread his message of hope.
Make a pitch for your dream film:
Do I dream of making films? Not really. I had that job for ten years and got it out of my system. Turns out those years were preparing me for the job I do now.
Thom Powers has been an International Documentary Programmer for the Toronto International Film Festival® since 2006. He is also responsible for Mavericks, the Festival’s discussion series with cinema innovators.
Powers is the Artistic Director for the weekly documentary series, “Stranger than Fiction” at Manhattan’s IFC Center and for the DOC NYC festival in November. He also consults on programming for the Miami International Film Festival. He has directed documentaries for HBO and PBS; and is a founding member of the documentary production company Sugar Pictures. He teaches documentary courses at New York University’s School of Continuing Professional Studies and the School of Visual Arts.
He is a co-founder of the Cinema Eye Honors, an annual award for documentary excellence; and the Garrrett Scott Development Grant.
He has served as a juror for Sundance, SXSW, CPH: DOX and DocAviv festivals; as well as the Emmy, IDA and Independent Spirit Awards. He has written extensively on documentary filmmaking for The Boston Globe, Real Screen, and Filmmaker Magazine.