For 10 days in September, the lights, cameras and glamour of Hollywood take over Toronto. Whether you love star spotting, great cinema or simply the energy of the big city, the Toronto International Film Festival is the perfect urban adventure. We’ve got seven great ideas of how you can make the most of TIFF this year.
1. Galas and Glamour
Each year some of Hollywood’s most notable films make their debut at TIFF. In 2010 The King’s Speech scooped up TIFF’s coveted People’s Choice Award, and then went on to win the Oscar for best picture at the 2011 Academy Awards. Though a seat at a Gala is a hot ticket item, if you are up for a last minute ticket you can check online at 7 am the morning of the screening, or get rush tickets. For more information click here.
This year we took a peek inside the premieres of To the Wonder starring Ontario’s Rachel McAdams and Dangerous Liasions starring Zhang Ziyi. Here’s a look inside Roy Thomson Hall with the stage set for the gala premiere.
2. The more movies the merrier!
The Toronto International Film Festival has become the launching pad for the best of international, Hollywood and Canadian cinema, and is recognized as the most important film festival after Cannes. This year, with 289 feature films and 83 shorts, there’s a diverse array of films to enjoy, including from Canadian directors and up-and-coming actors. A peek at the schedule inside the TIFF Bell Lightbox gives you an idea of just how many films are playing.3. Explore the TIFF Bell Lightbox
The official home of TIFF, the Bell Lightbox has lots to offer throughout the year. This fall is no exception, with the new exhibition, X-Men Master. A must for fans of the movie, this show is devoted to the work of makeup artist and special effects designer Gordon Smith, an Ontario native and a graduate of the University of Windsor’s theatre programme. On from August 17, 2012 until March 31, 2013!
4. Dine & Dish
Just caught sight of your favourite celeb? Sit down with something tasty and dish over all the details. The TIFF Bell Lightbox is home to some delicious culinary experiences, including LUMA and The O&B Canteen. The Canteen is the perfect place to sit down for awhile, or to grab a snack and go. All of O&B Canteen’s chef-prepared offerings use fresh ingredients. Our pick? The delicious butter tarts, made in O&B’s artisan bakery.
Catch a quick peek of some of the biggest names in the film industry as they arrive at TIFF’s many screening venues. Ontario landmarks like Roy Thomson Hall and the Princess of Wales Theatre are home to glitzy red carpets that the likes of Brad Pitt and George Clooney have walked. Stop by just before a screening, camp out and secure a prime viewing spot, or just wander by early in the day to see what a real-life red carpet looks like.
6. Souvenirs and Swag
Experiencing a real life world class film festival is something worth documenting! The TIFF Bell Lightbox gift shop has some fun gifts which are a great way to commemorate your visit to TIFF, or to bring something home to friends or family. Another handy TIFF secret? During a quick wander along King Street you’ll likely come across some samples or goodies from festival sponsors.
7. Five Star Sightings
In the past year Toronto has become home to some spectacular new five star hotels, including the Ritz-Carlton, the Shangri-La and Trump International. During TIFF these hotels are a sure place to spot a star, and you’ll often see a crowd outside the hotel waiting for the next sighting. For a peek inside the Trump hotel click here.