The World’s Leading Public Film Festival
The Toronto International Film Festival is the biggest and brightest public film festival on the planet. World premieres, galas, shmoozes and parties comprise this illustrious event where stars, directors and industry honchos make the rounds. If you’re a cinephile or simply just love to experience new and innovative films, TIFF is the place to be.
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TIFF Movie Guide
With over 300 films ranging from star-studded Hollywood dramas to raw and unscripted documentaries, TIFF has something for every type of film buff. Here are our picks for the best bets in each genre.
TIFF Movie Guide
If you’re in the mood for: Shock & Horror
It Follows (David Robert Mitchell): After catching a sexually transmitted curse, a nineteen year-old girl (played by Maika Monroe of Labour Day fame), becomes haunted with nightmarish visions. The only way to stop it is to pass on the curse. This indie thriller generated lots of buzz at Cannes.
The Guest (Adam Wingard): Downton Abbey’s Dan Stevens plays a charismatic soldier discharged from Afghanistan who shows up at the home of a grieving family claiming to be their deceased son’s best friend. This psychological thriller follows the sinister events that ensue after the arrival of this seemingly perfect houseguest.
Electric Bugaloo: The Wild, Untold Story of Cannon Films (Mark Hartley): This Australian documentary explores the seedy underworld of exploitation cinema through the story of the two men credited with putting action-exploitation force Cannon films on the map.
If you’re in the mood for: Oscar Buzz
Black and White (Mike Binder): Kevin Costner plays Elliot, a widowed attorney who struggles with his grief as he raises his biracial granddaughter. When the child’s grandmother (Academy Award winner Octavia Spencer) demands that the child be brought under the care of her drug-addicted father, Elliot finds himself deep in a custody battle.
The Good Lie (Philippe Falardeau): This inspiring drama stars Reese Witherspoon as an American who hosts four Sudanese orphans in her home. Oscar-nominated Falardeau brings the triumph of the “Lost Boys of Sudan” to life with this based-on-fact story.
The Equalizer (Antoine Fuqua): From the director of Training Day comes this thrilling story of an ex-CIA agent who must use his lethal skills to protect a young woman (Chloë Grace Moretz) from Russian gangsters.
If you’re in the mood for: Canadian Content
Mommy (Xavier Dolan): The anticipated film from Quebec director Xavier Nolan earned the prestigious Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival. It takes place in a fictional Canada where a law now allows parents to abandon their troubled teens to the hospital system.
Maps to the Stars (David Cronenberg): An L.A. family chases the Hollywood dream but only descends further into despair. Featuring Julianne Moore, Robert Pattinson, and Mia Wasikowska, this haunting satirical drama exposes the sinister side of show business.
Preggoland (Jacob Tierney): From festival favourite French-Canadian director Tierney comes a sassy comedy-drama about a 35 year-old woman who fakes being pregnant in an attempt to be accepted by her friends.
If you’re in the mood for: Art-House Mastery
The Face of an Angel (Michael Winterbottom): Based on the real-life story of Amanda Knox who was accused of murder in 2007, this British psychological thriller from adventurous director Michael Winterbottom stars Kate Beckinsale and Daniel Brühl.
A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence (Roy Andersson): From the Swedish director best known for his absurdist comedy comes this series of thought-provoking vignettes focusing mainly on a travelling salesman who explains his take on society.
Goodbye to Language (Jean-Luc Godard): This French director’s 39th film comments on the inadequacy of language through the story of a married woman and a single man meeting and falling in and out of love. A 3D experience, the film has been praised for its visual innovation.
If you’re in the mood for: Candid & Unscripted
Tales of the Grim Sleeper (Nick Broomfield): In the 1980s, a string of murders took place in South Central L.A. It wasn’t until 2010 that a suspect was arrested. This doc digs into the case of Lonnie Franklin Jr, who was dubbed the “grim sleeper” due to a 14-year hiatus in his crimes.
Seymour: An Introduction (Ethan Hawke): Actor/director Ethan Hawke’s intimate introduction to classical pianist, author, and teacher Seymour Bernstein will delight and inspire classical music fans.
Merchants of Doubt (Robert Kenner): The director behind Food Inc. offers a look at the world of professional skeptics, who are recruited by corporations to spread doubt about climate change and hamper action. A must-see for conspiracy theorists.
Keep an eye on the TIFF website for more information about screening dates and ticket sales.
The Red Carpet Experience
Ever wondered what it’s like to be a movie star on the red carpet? At TIFF, you can get as close to that feeling as possible.
From the flashing cameras to the screaming fans to the designer dresses, experience the complete red carpet spectacle at TIFF 2014.
The Red Carpet Experience
Unleash Your Inner Child
Waiting by the red carpet for the stars to show up is kind of like being a kid at Christmas time. The feelings of excitement and anticipation are the same, except instead of Santa Claus it’s Denzel Washington or Reese Witherspoon you’re hoping to see.
Only a handful of films that screen at TIFF are given the full red carpet treatment. This year, TIFF has announced 20 of these special Gala Presentations, most of which will be taking place at Roy Thomson Hall.
Keep in mind that if you want to actually attend the gala screening, you likely won’t be able to hang around the red carpet long enough to see the stars arrive. Luckily, most TIFF films have multiple screenings throughout the festival so you can always attend a non-gala screening at a later date if you want to experience both the red carpet and the movie.
Reach for the Stars
TIFF always attracts an abundance of A-listers, and this year will be no exception. You can get some idea of which celebrities will be showing up to which galas based on who’s starring in them – although part of the excitement of attending TIFF galas is that you never know exactly who you will see until you get there!
Here is a by-no-means-complete list of celebrities appearing in this year’s films:
Robert Downey Jr., Kate Winslet, Kevin Costner, Octavia Spencer, Denzel Washington, Steve Carell, Channing Tatum, Sienna Miller, Julianne Moore, Robert Pattinson, Tobey Maguire, Dustin Hoffman, John Travolta, Keira Knightley, Jason Bateman, Tina Fey, Jane Fonda, Reese Witherspoon, Andrew Garfield, Hayden Christensen, Jennifer Aniston, Anna Kendrick, Ethan Hawke, Toni Collette, Al Pacino, Benedict Cumberbatch, Liam Neeson, Jennifer Garner, Adam Sandler, Jessica Chastain, Colin Farrell, Jake Gyllenhaal, Kristen Stewart, Alec Baldwin, Chris Rock, Jerry Seinfeld, Ben Stiller, Naomi Watts, Amanda Seyfried.
Once you’ve decided which galas you want to lurk, show up early to get a good spot in front of the red carpet. Then get ready to gawk and gaze as the limos roll in.
Pro TIFF Tips
- Arrive at least two or three hours before the movie’s start time. The major galas always attract large crowds of people hoping to get a picture or an autograph of the stars. If you want any hope of a clear view, you have to get there really early to stake out your spot.
- Bring a camera. In today’s age of smartphones, you probably have one on you at all times. Just make sure it’s charged. You don’t want to miss the opportunity to snap a selfie in front of Hollywood royalty.
- Wear something nice. There’s no dress code to gawk at celebrities, but keep in mind that there will be media there and you might end up on camera. Do you really want to be immortalized on film wearing an oversized T-shirt while standing behind Jennifer Aniston? Besides, dressing up will make you feel more like a movie star yourself.
- Hang around afterward. If you didn’t get a good view or autograph from your favourite celeb on the way in, you may be able to catch them on the way out. Otherwise, head to known King West celebrity hangouts like Soho House and Brassaii to try and stalk (er, spot) them at the afterparty.
TIFF Guide to Where the Stars Hang Out
From star-studded after-parties to red-carpet premieres, TIFF has a reputation for bringing the hottest celebs to Toronto. With A-listers including Kristen Stewart, Jake Gyllenhaal, and Kiera Knightly rumored to be making an appearance this year, TIFF’s 2014 event is no exception.
Here are six spots to keep on your radar if you’re hoping to catch a glimpse of some stars off-screen.
TIFF Guide to Where the Stars Hang Out
100 Cumberland Street
More about Sassafraz.
This upscale restaurant in the heart of historic Yorkville is a year-round favourite among celebs including Susan Sarandon and Colin Firth. During TIFF, stars frequent this spot for dinner and fans congregate outside. In past years, the street has had to be shut down to let Matt Damon and Michael Douglas exit.
Whether because of its association with Hot Docs and the Canadian Film Centre or chef Brandon MacDonald’s market-driven French menu, Sassafraz is prime celeb stalking ground. Start your evening here, then continue exploring the neighborhood’s many high-end shops for other star sighting ops.
550 Wellington Street
More about Thompson Hotel.
The mod-boutique style Thompson Hotel is located right in the middle of Festival Fever just south of King on Bathurst. Its exclusive rooftop patio and infinity pool makes it a hotspot for star-studded TIFF parties.
Last year, the Vanity Fair party in the Hotel’s Scarpetta restaurant attracted James Franco, Carey Mulligan and Marion Cotillard. Don’t have an invite or a hookup to get you in? Grab a cocktail at the 24/7 Thompson Diner and see if you can catch a glimpse of any starlets exiting limos along Bathurst.
190 University Avenue
More about Momofuku
The Toronto outpost of this New York-based sensation is expected to once again become a hotspot for celebs – especially those with a penchant for Chef David Chang’s famous culinary work.
Last year, the four-restaurant & bar complex downtown offered ramen-loving celebs a taste of home. Among those spotted slurping noodles were Jake Gyllenhaal and Hugh Jackman, who posed for pictures with staff and diners.
131 Bloor Street West
More about La Société.
This 1920’s Parisian-themed bistro in Yorkville is a favourite among local socialites and fashion darlings. In TIFFs past, the seafood-heavy French menu has served celebs such as Amy Adams, Claire Danes, and Ewan McGregor.
The 2012 Artists for Peace and Justice Fundraiser saw Hollywood stars mingling with Toronto tastemakers for charity, making it one of the most talked-about TIFF parties of the year.
461 Queen Street West
More about Brassaii.
Since 2012, this King West resto-lounge has housed the Hollywood Reporter’s “Video Lounge,” where interviews have featured Nicole Kidman, Jude Law, Alexander Skarsgård, and many more. On top of its penchant for hosting buzz-worthy post-premiere parties, Brassaii becomes a hub of activity during TIFF.
Get glammed up and enjoy dinner off the Mediterranean-inspired menu (although Viggo Mortenson enjoys the bison burger), and keep your eye and ear out for celebs. You may even make it on TV yourself.
Cabana Pool Bar
11 Polson Street
More about Cabana Pool Bar.
What better place for a celeb to cool off with bottle service and a swim than Toronto’s most luxurious outdoor pool? The 50,000 sq. foot space at Polson Pier offers curtain-draped cabanas, a 100 foot poolside bar, and panoramic view of the skyline. This may be why Justin Bieber and Deadmau5 have made notorious visits here.
Grab a crew and make a day of lounging poolside. If you don’t spot any celebs, you’ll certainly feel like one.
Star sightings are only part of the full TIFF experience. Plan your visit to the Toronto International Film Festival to include a variety of films and programming. Whether you’re a cinephile or not, Toronto is the place to be during TIFF. Make the most of it!
Buying TIFF Tickets
With several different options available, buying tickets for TIFF can be overwhelming – especially if you’ve never done it before. Not sure which option is best for you? Read on for more information about purchasing tickets and packages to the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival.
Buying TIFF Tickets
Buying Individual TIFF Tickets
Most appropriate for: First-time festival goers who want control over which movies they see. Check out the 2014 TIFF Programme.
Buying individual tickets is typically the best option if you’ve never been to the festival before. It’s a lot simpler than buying a package and figuring out how the advance ticketing system works. Plus you get to choose exactly which movies you want to see, and how many.
Some words of warning: Tickets for high-profile films and Premium Screenings tend to get scooped up early by people who buy packages in advance. If you plan on buying an individual ticket to one of the high-profile films, be prepared to place your order as soon as these tickets go on sale in late August/early September to make sure you get a spot.
See the TIFF product list for individual ticket on-sale dates.
Buying a My Choice Package
Most appropriate for: Seasoned TIFF veterans who want to see a large number of specific films.
The My Choice package is ideal if you want to see a large number of films and have control over which films you see. With a My Choice package, you can select which films you want to see in advance of when tickets go on sale for the general public. This means you have a better chance of getting tickets to the movies you want to see.
You can choose up to 100 tickets in increments of 10 with the Regular Flex Pack. Opt for the Premium Ticket Flex Pack instead (available in 6- and 12-ticket packs) if you want to see bigger red carpet galas with bigger stars.
Find My Choice packages on the TIFF Ticket Product List page.
Buying a TIFF Choice Package
Most appropriate for: Film lovers who aren’t particularly concerned about which screenings they attend.
The TIFF Choice packages are similar to the My Choice packages, except that TIFF’s Festival programmers select the movies for you. You can choose to focus your ticket package on a particular theme (e.g. Midnight Madness) or select a package that includes a variety of films (e.g. Evening & Weekend Sampler package). Once you buy your package, simply sit back and wait for TIFF to tell you which films you got.
For the ultimate A-list TIFF experience, the $1,500 Buzz List ticket bundle will get you into five premium screenings – those high-profile red carpet galas where all the stars come out. It’s a steep price tag, but for the possibility of rubbing elbows with Jennifer Aniston or Jake Gyllenhaal (both rumoured to be attending this year) it may just be worth it.
Find TIFF Choice packages on the TIFF Ticket Product List page.
For More Information
Visit the TIFF Ticket Wizard for more information about TIFF tickets, packages, and pricing.
TIFF Galas & Parties
TIFF is all about the glamour and the glitz. If you long to mix and mingle with the A-listers (or simply admire them from a close distance), you won’t want to miss this year’s dazzling TIFF galas and parties. Dress up to the nines and get your fix of Hollywood highs at these star-studded events.
TIFF Galas & Parties
TIFF’s Opening Gala is always one of the most anticipated events of the festival. Dedicated cinephiles and patrons of the arts mingle with Hollywood filmmakers and actors at this once-in-a-lifetime soirée that raises funds to support TIFF programming year-round.
This year’s Opening Gala features an exclusive onstage conversation with Academy Award winner Al Pacino, followed by a cocktail party, live entertainment, special guests, and a few surprises. If you can afford the $1,500 price tag, you can join the festivities on Wednesday, September 3rd at the TIFF Bell Lightbox. Otherwise, star-gaze outside the theatre pre-5:30pm to watch the crème de la crème as they stream in.
Red Carpet Galas
In addition to the Opening Gala, TIFF premieres several “gala films” every year –high-profile screenings featuring big-name stars and red carpets. Last year’s red carpet galas saw the likes of Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, Scarlett Johansson, and Julia Roberts grace us with their presence.
TIFF has already announced its major gala premieres for 2014. Keep your eye out for some of these Hollywood celebs on the red carpet this September – and be sure to arrive early to get a prime view (and perhaps an autograph).
- Channing Tatum, Mark Ruffalo, and Steve Carell star in Foxcatcher, a true-life drama about two former Olympic wrestling champions and brothers who fatefully befriend a neurotic millionaire from director Bennett Miller (World Premiere).
- Julianne Moore, Mia Wasikowska, and Robert Pattinson star in Maps to the Stars, an acerbic portrait of a Hollywood family obsessed with celebrity from Canadian director David Cronenberg (North American Premiere).
- Jane Fonda, Tina Fey, Jason Bateman, and Timothy Olyphant play members of a dysfunctional family brought together by a death in Shawn Levy’s hilarious and touching adaptation of Jonathan Tropper’s This is Where I Leave You (World Premiere).
- Tobey Maguire and Liev Schreiber play two American and Russian chess phenoms battling wits at the 1972 “Match of the Century” in Edward Zwick’s gripping docudrama Pawn Sacrifice (World Premiere).
- Kate Winslet and Matthias Schoenaerts close off the Festival in Alan Rickman’s opulent historical drama A Little Chaos, set in Versailles in 17th century France (World Premiere). This Closing Gala film is already being buzzed about and is sure to attract a number of celebs.
Check the TIFF website for the full list of galas, dates, and ticket information.
Ever dreamed of partying with the stars? Now’s your chance. While a lot of TIFF parties are invite-only, a few are open to the public. In any case, you can expect to find the stars continuing the festivities until late in the evening at one of the many Toronto bars that have extended last calls (4 AM) during the Festival.
- The Spoke Club will be hosting its annual Nikki Beach pop-up from September 4-7. In previous years, Bono, Seth Rogen, Edward Norton, Madonna, and Will.i.am have all celebrated TIFF on The Spoke Club’s rooftop patio. The club is only open to members, but if you’re lucky enough to be one you can expect to see many other stars at this exclusive sanctuary.
- Last year during TIFF, the recently restored Soho House hosted three or four different Grey Goose-sponsored parties a night, welcoming the likes of Kristen Stewart, Jennifer Lawrence, Michael Fassbender, and Aaron Paul through its doors. This 10,000 square-foot converted 19th-century hotel is sure to be a hotspot again this year, so arrive early and keep your eyes peeled for celebrities.
- Other party locales worth checking out include The Hoxton, C Lounge, F-Stop, and Brassaii. James Franco and Michael Fassbender love to unwind at The Hoxton, while Daniel Radcliffe and Michael C. Hall were both spotted at C Lounge during last year’s Kill Your Darlings afterparty.
TIFF is the one time of year in Toronto where everyday people get to mix with the Hollywood elite. Let your inner star out and get the full A-list experience this year at TIFF 2014!
TIFF Bell Lightbox: Experience TIFF All Year
All year round, visit TIFF’s new home at the TIFF Bell Lightbox, a stunning complex at the corner of King and John Streets. With 5 public cinemas, 2 galleries, a bistro, restaurant and lounge, it’s your ticket to the world of cinema in the heart of Toronto. See the film schedule & purchase tickets at TIFF.net.ShareThis