By Jon Waldman
Dressed in flip-flops, bathing suits and Hawaiian shirts, Ryerson residence students hit the town last week.
And no, they were not on their way to Tourist Night at the Zanzibar.
They were going to the Toronto International Film Festival for free—and they were invited.
Approximately 200 passes to the Sept. 11 premiere of Psycho Beach Party were given to rez students a week before the screening.
Cinema Vault, the production company hosting the movie, contacted RyeSAC to get a student audience for the film’s premiere screening.
Lucy Jakupi, residence life facilitator, then gave the tickets to the specially selected students.
According to Amy Beecroft, director of international distribution for Cinema Vault, CEO Nick Stilinidi and lead actor Thomas Gibson—both Ryerson alumni—were involved in the process of selecting an audience.
The film program at Ryerson also factored in to giving away free tickets here.
As part of the festivities, students were encouraged to dress in beach attire, with prizes awarded to the best costumes (supplied by www.cinemavault.com). Almost all students participated, sporting towels, bathing suits and Hawaiian shirts.
“I went all out. It as a lot of fun,” said John Harrison, a Pitman Hall resident whose winning costume included a beach ball, nose plugs, a bathing cap, a visor and sunglasses.
“I think some people really impressed me with the way they dressed up and got right into the movie,” said senior residence student Jen Cripps.
“I think it makes it more of an experience instead of just sitting there.”
The vast majority of the audience reacted positively to the movie, with several scenes sparking laughter and applause.
“The students really liked it,” Jakupi said.
“It was cheesy, but they got excited about it.”
Cripps was glad she was able to watch the film with fellow Ryerson residents “because it made it a better movie, and if there weren’t people rowdy there, it would have sucked.
“I think [the movie] was really corny and kind of cheesy [with] the way it was put together, but at the same time I was totally laughing.”
Beecroft says the reaction to the film has been positive, and the number of people who attended dressed up for the movie even surprised the company.