Industry Interview Blog- Shahi Cuffy TIFF

A lot of people dream of breaking into the film industry, TIFF is a huge film festival how did you get your start?

I had a friend who was working as hostess, she let me know about an opening and the rest is history. 3+ years later and I am just scratching the surface of where I want to be. I know it sounds cliché, but in this industry really is who you know. The more networking you do the more doors and opportunity you open for yourself

How did you know you wanted to be in the film industry

For as long as I could remember preforming arts has always played a big roll in my life. I am an entertainer so being in front of a camera is comfortable. That being said, to be in this industry it is very important to also know what goes on behind the camera. Not only that but often it is required you to start at the very bottom.

What is your favourite aspect of the job and why?

The end product is always the most rewarding. After TIFF is always a big reward for the entire team no matter what department or what your job is. Everyone works so hard to put together a seamless festival. There’s so much that goes on that the people don’t see, it’s not a glamorous. But once it’s all done it’s a huge sigh of relief and we are all proud of our work.

Do you see yourself working for TIFF in the long run?

To be honest, I don’t know where I see myself in the long run. Being in front of the camera is my first love, so if given the opportunity I will take it. Every season I’m in a different roll and I get to learn so much from people who have been here for longer or did this job before me.

Who is the most interesting person you got to meet at TIFF?

Robert Deniro by far. He was so humble and down to earth. I’ve met less famous celebrities who aren’t as engaging. He truly makes you feel like he is no big deal.


Film and broadcasting is a mutli-layered industry. There is so much that does on to put on a production. In the film industry there is a saying ‘there are no small rolls’, I’ve learned it doesn’t only apply to actors and acting. There are directors, the crew, production, assistants etc. Everyone has a roll and each roll is equally important. Without one to assisting the other each persons job would not run as smoothly. Also there is so much that does into promoting and creating buzz about your film. I’m not interested in film, broadcast in my main focus, however it was stressed to me that knowing more about the industry, even aspects you don’t necessary want to get into is strength and will get more doors open for you in the long run.


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