Three filmmakers describe what drives them at the Toronto International Film Festival 2017

Showing your film at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) is something many amateur and professional filmmakers aspire to.

Finding out what drives other filmmakers who’ve achieved this feat is a great way for those starting out in the industry to think about perfecting their own craft.

Luckily, TIFF managed to grab three directors showing their films at the festival to talk about their influences and what keeps them making films.

Why make films?

Swedish director Ruben Östlund

You’ve probably seen the clip of the cab driver accidentally ending up on BBC News after a case of mistaken identity. If you haven’t – you should. But, who would have thought it would be one of the inspirations for the Swedish director of The Square, this year’s Palme d’Or winner, Ruben Östlund?

He told TIFF: “I want to be as good as the clips on YouTube [at] describing human beings. I think the absolutely best way of using moving images have happened together with internet and YouTube.”

He describes the clip where Guy Goma was mistaken for a technology expert and quizzed about a music industry legal case, which he goes along with the interview, despite not having the expertise.

He added: “There is something about that clip which is showing so much about us and what I think when it comes to my movies, I think that all directors have to produce better images than we can find on YouTube. That has to be our goal.”

Canadian director Molly McGlynn

Molly McGlynn is a Canadian director who is premiering her debut feature, Mary Goes Round, at TIFF 2017. As an early-career filmmaker, her advice is particularly relevant to those looking to get their foot into the door in the highly competitive film industry.

She said: “Filmmakers cannot only learn from rejection but you have to thrive, or find a way to thrive in spite it.”

She described how she uses the rejection she faces as fuel to make better films and have more success – a top tip for any filmmaker.

McGlynn added: “For instance, getting into TIFF is a huge thing that I’m aware of, that people are happy and excited about and I am thrilled about, but I don’t ever want to sit back and just be like [I’ve] made it, I’m done guys. I want to do a second feature that will challenge me and make me scared because I don’t know how people will respond to it.”

Chinese director Chloé Zhao

Filmmaker Chloé Zhao is having the Canadian premiere of her film The Rider at TIFF, which was recently been picked up by Sony Pictures Classics for distribution.

Her inspiration comes from a different place to the others, as she describes visiting South Dakota to tell the story of cowboys and bronco riders in The Rider and discovering the spirituality they felt there.

She said: “I think a lot of spiritual practices come out of nature so I think I’m attracted to telling stories that are some how related to nature because it’s a reflection of humanity.”

All three directors have different inspirations and reasons they use film to tell stories, which amateur filmmakers can draw upon. Let us know in the comments what drives you make your own films.