Over the next few weeks, we are going to interview each of the TSAFF board members, so that you can get a better idea of who we are and why we love being part of such an amazing festival.
This week, we chat with Julian Parr, the newest member of the TSAFF board.
What’s your role on the TSAFF board?
I am the Marketing and Digital Director and my portfolio covers brand, content, web, digital and social media. It is my responsibility to ensure that the TSAFF brand is represented accurately across all media and to provide a channel for our audience to learn about TSAFF and communicate with our team.
How long have you been with TSAFF?
I joined TSAFF in September 2017, a little under two months before the festival that year. It was an exciting time!
What’s the most challenging part of running a charity film festival?
Balancing the planning and executing the festival with our team’s daily work/family schedules, I think is the most challenging aspect. The TSAFF board all have full-time jobs and some of us have families, so fitting everything in around this can be tough. I do believe though that all of us are passionate about the cause and despite the pressure at times, are always rewarded by the challenges presented.
What’s the most rewarding thing about being part of TSAFF?
For me, there are two actually! The first is to help create a way for people in North America to view South African cinema in a world-class venue, ultimately helping to grow the sector locally and in South Africa. It’s an intensely competitive industry and by hosting the festival each year in Toronto, we are hopefully broadening the reach for South African artists.
The second is the contribution we make to Education without Borders, our partner charity that supports South African and Canadian educational charities. I firmly believe, as a very well known man once said, ‘Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.
How did you get involved with TSAFF?
I was asked to assist with a few aspects of the 2017 festival and really enjoyed the experience. I applied to be a permanent member of the team and after a brief review, I was accepted.
What’s your day job?
I work in corporate and partnership marketing.
What do you do in your spare time? Any interesting hobbies?
I grew up playing outside, so I absolutely love to run and cycle around Toronto, when the weather permits of course! When I have the time (…and the finances), I love to travel and explore new and interesting places both locally and abroad.
What is your one wish for a future TSAFF event?
I’d like to see the brand grow in Ontario, not just in Toronto. There is a great selection of film talent in South Africa and I’d love to see TSAFF grow to the point where can show more films to a greater number of people during the festival. Currently, the TSAFF community (attendees, sponsors, partners etc) is at about 700 people, I’d like to see it double by 2020.