By Melissa Allen Anderson
Ah, TIFF season is upon us. For 10 magical days Torontonians have an excuse to dress up, go out on a school night, and act like seasoned film snobs (or geeks…). If you are like me, then you tend to enjoy not only getting a sneak preview of the fabulous movies coming out in the next year, but the opportunity to put on some lipstick, don your stilettos and hobnob with celebrities as if you yourself were an A-lister.

For the past 3 years, Spoke Club’s 5th Annual Filmmakers Party, hosted by eTalk Daily and the Canadian Film Centre, has been my choice opening party for several reasons: guaranteed star sightings, great music, tasty hors d’oeuvres and of course, free booze.

This year’s Filmmakers Party did not disappoint. When I walked into the venue, I was greeted by the same friendly staff and shiny guests, but the venue was not as ridiculously packed as it was in previous years, and there was an incredibly stylish cover band performing the greatest hits of the last three decades. Not only was there great live music, but the dance floor was jammin’! There is nothing like seeing the gorgeous eTalk Daily hostess Tanya Kim bumpin’ and grindin’ like a champ with the rest of us!

Taking a break from showing off my smooth dance moves, I meandered to the lounge area where I spotted the Canadian actress and filmmaker Alex Appel who has just released her vampire flick The Death of Alice Blue ( Since we have friends in common I managed to chat her up and snap a photo of her and her gal pal.

Moving on to Spoke Club’s Glass House (the top floor where two of the four walls are floor-to-ceiling glass so you can spy on those hanging out on the famous patio), I ran into my dear friend, actress Shannon O’Donnell, who was supporting her boyfriend, Brooks Hunter, writer and producer of the about-to-be released film Kenneyville (

Still having my wits about me after a couple martinis, I wandered out to the patio bar where I ran into Toronto socialistas and businesswomen Ainsley Kerr, Shay Lowe, Deb Lewis, and Jennifer Ferreira. Documentary director/producer Roger Evan Larry, filmmaker Noel S. Baker (of Hard Core Logo fame) and Marcello Cabezas were kind enough to snap a photo of the lovely girls. Such nice guys.

As usual, Spoke’s Filmmakers’ Party was a roaring success, with a sea of complimentary cocktails, familiar faces and a drop of decadence. Let TIFF week begin!