Meet the new blood behind TIFF’s Midnight Madness

“The audience knows the code of movie going,” he said. (CBC)

In February, TIFF announced Geddes was leaving to pursue new opportunities, including concentrating on producing films with partner Katarina Gligorijevic, in the pair’s production company, Ultra 8 Pictures, and curating the subscription streaming-‘n’-screaming service, Shudder.com. 
“This year I decided, you know what, I think I need to move on and embrace other things within the film world, but we had to find someone who would kind of continue to select weird and crazy films from around the world,” Geddes said. 
‘A State of the Union of genre cinema’
And that’s where Kuplowsky has come in. 
He has worked as Geddes’ protege, attending all 10 Midnight Madness offerings since 2005. 

The 10 films in TIFF’s Midnight Madness line-up ‘are genre films and not necessarily just horror films,’ Peter Kuplowsky says. Peter Kuplowsky is bringing new blood to Toronto International Film Festival’s obscure and nightmarishly terrifying after-dark cinema — Midnight Madness. It’s not 10 action films. It’s a breadth of genre cinema that will, you know, that kind of tells everybody what the next year is going to look like. What are the new trends coming out of Asian action cinema?” 
‘Midnight Madness audience is up for anything’
On Thursday, one film that Geddes never got to select for his lineups was screened for the first time to an international audience since it made its debut in 1975. Veteran Midnight Madness programmer Colin Geddes stepped down in February, handing his popcorn to protege Peter Kuplowsky. The inaugural line-up chosen for the program by the Toronto-born film buff runs the typical gamut of cult classics, with blood-driven horror and shocking thrillers, but expands it with non-genre titles in the program, including Bodied and The Disaster Artist. 

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“An important thing to distinguish is these are genre films and not necessarily just horror films,” the new programmer told CBC News on Friday. 
“Midnight Madness has a connotation of being a horror section, and while we do show a lot of horror films and we’re close to the Halloween season, it’s a constant sort of battle to remind people of that.” 
Colin Geddes steps down after 20 years
The man behind two decades of madness, veteran programmer Colin Geddes, raised a generation of late-night aficionados and helped TIFF earn its reputation for being the place to see non-mainstream films. The screening was in honour of Geddes. “What are the new trends in horror films? (CBC)

“I’ve always viewed the Midnight Madness program as kind of a State of the Union of genre cinema,” Kuplowsky said. 
“It’s not just 10 horror films. Wolf Guy — a rare Japanese horror-action-science fiction hybrid — represents a sub-culture of cinema, according to Geddes. 
 Kuplowsky said: “The Midnight Madness audience is up for anything in a way that very few audiences are.”
That includes the energy in the theatre before the show, which Geddes says is worth the price of admission alone. “It’s like you’re supposed to cheer with the good guy and you’re supposed to boo with the bad guy.” 
Complete with beach balls tossed amongst the crowd before the lights dim, “Midnight Madness is the party” according to its former curator. 
“If you don’t go to Midnight Madness, you don’t understand parties at all.”