Miss Polley, who grew up in Toronto and still lives there, said that unlike industry-dominated festivals such as Cannes and Venice, Toronto draws regular film fans that give filmmakers a sense of how their work might play in the real world.
"The audiences are so enthusiastic," Miss Polley said. "It's a great launching pad for a film. You get your optimum audience here. If a film's not loved by audiences here, it's probably not going to be loved by an audience anywhere, so it's a great first shot."