However, one thing stands out to me year after year - TIFF does not use illustrated posters to celebrate the festival. They used to. Have a look - I've scrounged up what I could find online and starting at the top left, they begin around the mid-80's with an illustration done by Canadian illustrator Heather Cooper:
Illustration dwindles on the yearly posters that follow, with the exception of a poster in 2009 with a concept of wings for eyes. Much use of photography, photoshop magic and ending with what looks like a stock photo in 2009. I have not found, nor can I recall the posters that may have followed in 2010 or the present year.
I understand that illustration does not suit every job. Conceptually, there are some nice ideas found here and there… 2007's posters is quite nice, with a pastoral scene glimpsed in the darkness above the screen. However, I love what illustration can do and my reaction to it. The value of an illustrated poster feels different to me, something to keep, to pore over, to wonder, to allow for a suspension of disbelief - and when it has a fantastic concept to boot, it knocks me out every time.
This poster illustration done by Robert Neubecker, granted, is not for a film festival but the filmmakers took a chance on illustration instead of using photography like everyone else. (It won the Key Art Award for Best Comedy Poster of 2004- the oscar of movie posters. Also awards from SI, A.I.G.A. and AI.)
So TIFF, what's the problem? Why so short-sighted? Posters for an international film festival say something about the place that they are held, so what is it you are saying about Toronto?
Have a look at some more posters I found online that stuck out to me below, and tell me that illustration is less than powerful, sharp, beautiful, wondrous, inspiring, collectable and MEMORABLE...