press from the toronto international film festival

The Festival Daily - Day 3 - Saturday, September 6, 2003


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Hundreds of filmmakers, members of the press and industry movers and shakers descended upon the Liberty Grand on Thursday night to celebrate the opening of the Festival. Among them were the subject and crew of Flyerman (left to right): costume designer Janet Hansen, director Jason Tan, Mark "Flyerman" Vistorino and director Jeff Stephenson.


Tan and Stephenson's documentary tracks five years in the life of Vistorino and his alter ego Flyerman, a self-styled superhero who distributes PR material outside clubs and theatres, often with the help of a bullhorn and a flamboyant outfit.

With a preternatural gift for self-promotion, Flyerman lands himself a gig as a regular guest on a morning radio show and quickly joins that distinct class of celebrities - those famous simply for being famous.

Tan and Stephenson follow Vistorino's pursuit of fame with humanity and dignity, capturing his ups (trips to Los Angeles and Las Vegas) as well as his downs (his battle with addiction), to offer a touching portrait of an indomitable spirit.

Flyerman, which is part of the Perspective Canada programme, screens Sept. 8, 7:00 pm at Varsity 4 and Sept. 10, 4:30 pm at Cumberland 1.

NOW Film Festival Insider Guide - September 4-10, 2003


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This is a worthy addition to the growing roster of documentaries about Canadian Quixotes. But where Project Grizzly's Troy Hurtubise wants to build a bear-proof suit, and Ken Carter in Devil at Your Heels wants to jump the Niagara River in a car, Flyerman's Mark Vistorino tilts at more ephemeral windmills: he wants to be famous for handing out flyers. Jeff Stephenson and Jason Tan wisely focus less on his goal than on his reasons for pursuing it. Vistorino is an exceptionally candid subject and has moments of crystalline, unflinching self-awareness. By hanging out with him and his family for more than five years, the directors develop a portrait of a life in progress that is heartbreaking, intelligent, and surprisingly deep. WB

National Post - Monday, September 8, 2003


[Caption under photo] We probably shouldn't encourage him like this: A scene from the movie Flyerman.

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Flyerman is a rather hateful subject for a documentary, but you can't stop watching him (which will please Flyerman, and fuel his hatefulness even more). Mark Vistorino, a.k.a. Flyerman - the flashing lights on his leather jacket say so - hands out flyers with such ferocity that he keeps injuring his eyeball. He is the 37-year-old product of a dysfunctional family - his own father slams the door in his face - and he's so obsessed with his own, negligible celebrity that he stalks journalists for press while on vacation in Barbados. Toronto filmmakers Jeff Stephenson and Jason Tan tracked Flyerman for five years and came up with this jaw-dropping human tragedy. A funny-sad meditation on fame. *** Katrina Onstad

Toronto Star - Friday, September 5, 2003, p.D1, D7


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... When it comes to celebrating failure, there's one Canadian movie and character that soars above all the rest. It's Flyerman, co-directed by Jeff Stephenson and Jason Tan, which tracks the antics of a Toronto eccentric who aspires to be the world's greatest distributor of cheap promotional flyers.

His real name is Mark Vistorino, but he calls himself Flyerman, a handle you couldn't miss since it's in flashing lights on the back of his garish jacket. Vistorino is determined to make a super hero out of a standard nerd, but fate isn't cooperating - he even manages to cut his eyeball, twice, by the aggressive way he flicks his flyers.

"Who the hell do I think I am sometimes?" Flyerman mutters to himself, after yet another failure.

"I swear to God, I really wonder."

Cheer up, Flyerman. You have plenty of company with your fellow Canadians at this year's Toronto Film Festival.

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