EP #60: Ravi Srinivasan – International Programmer At The Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) & Hot Docs

Ravi Srinivasan was raised in a half-Filipino, half-Tamil household in Sarnia before moving to Toronto where is he now the Interntional Programmer (Canada) for the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF, @tiff_net). He’s also the International Programmer for the Hot Docs Caandian International Documentary Festival (@hotdocs_) and the Founder/Executive Director of the South Western International Film Festival (SWIFF, @swiffca).

He joins Ara on this week’s episode of #TheTamilCreator to discuss how he got his first job in the film industry with cold calling, his lifelong interest in public speaking from a young age, having no idea what TIFF was growing up, meeting M.I.A. (@miamatangi), not paying himself for the first few years of starting his own film festival (SWIFF), wanting to be the GM of the Toronto Raptors (@raptors), and much more.

Follow Ravi:
– LinkedIn (https://www.linkedin.com/in/ravsrinivas/)

*TAKE THE QUIZ – “What Type of Creator Are You?”**



00:19 – Ara introduces this week’s guest, Ravi Srinivasan
01:24 – Upbringing in Sarnia and his family being one of two non-white families
05:01 – How Ravi broke into the film industry
08:58 – Cold emailing and cold calling is a lost art
09:57 – How Ravi got an opportunity with TIFF and the importance of film festivals
15:36 – His strategy to pass the TIFF assessment
17:14 – Ravi’s day-to-day as a programmer for TIFF
19:50 – The film he discovered in this role that he is most proud of
23:15 – Advice for filmmakers who want to be a part of TIFF
25:55 – How TIFF became one of the most important film festivals in North America
29:08 – Ravi’s role as a programmer at Hot Docs
31:51 – Having a Q&A discussion with M.I.A.
33:36 – The power of film and media in controlling the narrative
35:00 – Legal implications around making a documentary
36:20 – Being the Founder & Executive Director of SWIFF
41:45 – What the future of film festivals looks like moving forward
43:48 – How friends/family reacted to Ravi making a professional living around film
46:33 – Ravi’s relationship with money and his financial advice for aspiring creatives
50:39 – Advice for his 16-year-old self: ‘Don’t drop out of Calculus’
52:00 – The legacy he wants to be remembered for by friends and family
53:50 – Why Ravi doesn’t feel close to his Tamil roots
57:36 – How Ara and Ravi initially connected
58:26 – Creator Confessions
1:10:34 – The Wrap Up

Intro Music

Produced And Mixed By:
– The Tamil Creator
– Yanchan

Written By:
– Aravinthan Ehamparam
– Yanchan Rajmohan