An Incredible Showcase of FilmAs one of the biggest film festivals in the world, the Toronto International Film Festival is a showcase of both home grown and international talent. Film fanatics, critics, industry professionals and journalists all gather together in the many venues in Toronto’s Downtown core to take in a carefully chosen selection of the best cinema from over 60 countries. Audiences are exposed to a mix of new offerings from established big-name filmmakers as well as up-and-coming talent. TIFF offers a variety of cinema that suits the taste of every filmgoer, from gripping documentaries to terrifying horror flicks. Some of the 17 programs include the “Masters” films which showcase new works by the world’s most noted filmmakers and the “Vanguard” series that offers edgy works meant to challenge the audience. Films in the “Contemporary World Cinema” category are an award-winning collection from around the globe, while the “Canada First” works spotlight the best cinema from Canadian talent. A favourite with night owls looking for cinema that pushes the envelope are the “Midnight Madness” movies. These flicks range from bone-chilling thrillers to wild and wacky comedies and are screened after 12am. Many beloved films worthy of Oscar nominations and wins have premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival, including the smash hit Slumdog Millionaire and the acclaimed adaptation Precious, both recipients of the festival’s People Choice Award.
Celebrity BuzzCelebrity sightings in the city are at their peak during the Toronto International Film Festival, with the trendy Yorkville area of the downtown core being a hotspot for spotting stars. The “Gala” film screenings at Roy Thomson Hall are often North American or even world premieres, and high-profile celebrities will take to the red carpet before the screenings for media interviews. The excitement surrounding a Gala film resembles Oscar night with the glitz and glamour of high fashion and the frenzy of fans and reporters.
A Festival for EveryoneAnother great way to see stars up close and personal during the Toronto International Film Festival is to simply get tickets to one of their film screenings. Typically the director, the main actors in the film and often writers and producers will take to the stage after the screening for a “Question and Answer” session where anyone in the audience can ask a question. TIFF is often praised as being a festival for film lovers rather than an event reserved for industry insiders and celebrities. Regular people can purchase tickets to any film and have the opportunity to pose questions to their favourite filmmakers.
Tips for Attending the FestivalDon’t be put off by the line-ups outside of the venues. They look incredibly long but some of the theatres are huge and you can almost always get a good seat. Show up an hour before and chat with people, as usually the lines are friendly and a good place to compare notes. The Q and A’s are a special part of the festival. To make sure you get the maximum number of stars and directors present to try see films on the first showing. If a movie you really want to see is sold out, try the rushing the line. The Rush line will be opposite the Ticket Holders line outside of the venue. Just line up and hope some tickets will become available (often many are released just before the screening) and you may get lucky! If you aren’t sure where to go, ask one of the many helpful TIFF volunteers that are on hand to answer questions. Click to book your Toronto tours.
Toronto International Film FestivalTickets to film screenings can be ordered online, by phone or in person at the Festival Box Office.
Click here to visit Toronto International Film Festival official website.Note: This information can change without notice. Confirm all details directly with the company in question.