Because the Toronto Film Festival staffers have chosen not to open the second-floor media wifi lounge inside festival headquarters at the Sutton Place hotel until Friday morning, those of us with laptops who are looking to file here today or tomorrow have no choice but to use the downstairs press room, which has a bank of about 20 flatscreens. I’ve just been told, however, that I can’t use the wall plugs in the downstairs lounge because the Sutton Place doesn’t have enough electricity to power the flatscreens plus random laptoppers like myself. Some kind of overload or burnout will result, they say.
So after arguing and snarling about this I had to unplug. Which, of course, is absurd. Can you imagine the Cannes or Sundance staffers telling press they can’t plug in while filing in their media wifi rooms (i.e., inside the Palais or the Park City Marriott)? There would be a revolt. But this is Toronto so everyone shrugs. They’ve been lagging behind in providing decent wifi opportunities for the press in years past, and this a.c. power/plug-in issue is an expression of the same groove. So I guess I’ll just have to file inside Starbucks cafes (which allow you to plug in) today and tomorrow. At least it’s just a temporary problem. The upstairs media wifi lounge will allow journalists to plug in starting on Friday morning.