Impromptu film3
Copyright 2013: Global Mechanic Media/ National Film Board. Used with permission.

Those of you who read this blog on a regular basis will know how much Neil and I love to entertain. I recently shared my five top tips for hosting a dinner party but sometimes life doesn’t afford us the luxury of a lot of preparation time when it comes to entertaining – but, in fact, some of the best dinner parties we have thrown have been spontaneous. Sometimes, the best nights are the ones that are unplanned, unexpected – impromptu.

Which is why when I received an email from the National Film Board of Canada asking me if I’d like to preview a film that will be world premiering at the Toronto International Film Festival this fall – a 3D animation short film that follows a young father throwing an impromptu dinner party when his wife unexpectedly comes home with colleagues and friends – I couldn’t resist!

Impromptu film
Copyright 2013: Global Mechanic Media/ National Film Board. Used with permission.

Directed by Bruce Alcock and set to Chopin’s Fantaisie-Impromptu, Impromptu is a 3D animated film (voice recorded over an actual live dinner party!) that is “an ode to ordinary moments of sudden, beautiful chaos”.

The film chronicles an evening in the lives of Chuck and Sylvie who, it seems, have needed to have a serious talk for quite some time. Chuck is home preparing dinner with his baby daughter, trying to figure out how “the talk” will take place when Sylvie calls, announcing she is on her way home after a long lunch and that she is bringing a few colleagues home for dinner.  All of a sudden, Chuck’s evening turns from the mundane into spontaneous chaos.

Impromptu film2

Impromptu is one of the Short Cuts Canada short films screening at the Toronto International Film Festiva1 2013. Its world premiere will take place on September 11th at 9.15pm and Director Alcock will be present. And guess what?

Win two tickets to the world premiere of Impromptu at the Toronto International Film Festival 2013!

That’s right – thanks to the kind folks at The National Film Board of Canada, I have two tickets to the world premiere of Impromptu up for grabs.

To enter:

1. Leave a comment below telling me your best tip for impromptu entertaining (it could be a “go to” dish or an ingredient you always keep on hand)

2. For a bonus entry, tweet the following message:

I entered to win tickets to the world premiere of @brucewgalcock Impromptu @tiff_net from @eatlivtravwrite + @theNFB

Then come back to leave me a comment telling me you did.

Contest closes on Saturday August 31st 2013 at 6pm EST. Winner will be chosen by and will be notified by email on September 1st 2013. You must be able to attend the screening of Impromptu on September 11th at 9.15pm in Toronto.

EDITED TO ADD: The contest is now closed. Thanks for entering everyone and congrats to Melissa ( !


13 thoughts on “Impromptu”

  1. My two lifesavers for last-minute entertaining (which we do quite a lot) are frozen all-butter puff pastry and a tweaked version of Alice Medrich’s cocoa brownies ( The puff pastry means I can whip up some cheese straws, or tomato tarts, or a spinach-za’atar wheel to nibble on with no notice (or an apple tart, come to that). The brownies use pantry ingredients I’ve always got on hand, and they are THE BEST.

    Can I just say how refreshing it is that Sylvie is the one bringing guests home?

  2. An ingredient that comes in handy (as it goes well with absolutely everything) is mushroom salt, nature’s alternative to MSG. I like to add a bit to whatever it is that I’m making, just to see if it satisfies the tastebuds. It’s been a foolproof experiment so far!

  3. Best tip for impromptu entertaining: get takeaway…(or as you might say in N America – take out) It’s easy, it offers choice and it keeps the kitchen clean.

  4. Always have chips/sour cream/scallions on hand for chips and dip, as well as a couple of blocks of cheese and crackers + cookies on hand. Anything else (main course) can be picked up at your favourite take-out spot.

  5. Best tip for impromptu entertaining: is always have cheese, grapes and wine in your fridge! You are always ready to make a great impression.


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