Toronto International Film Festival
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. Whether you’re a cinephile or just love to see the celebs, TIFF is the place to be.
Featured video: A Home Away From Home: Celebrities at TIFF Talk Toronto
TIFF 2015 is coming to Toronto in September – and so are the Hollywood stars. Find out what your favourite TIFF celebrities love about Toronto. Video produced by Crucial Pictures in association with Rogers Radio.ShareThis
TIFF Movie Guide
With over 300 films ranging from star-studded Hollywood dramas to raw & unscripted documentaries, TIFF (a.k.a. The Festival of Festivals) 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: Thriller
Remember (Atom Egoyan): Starring Christopher Plummer, this dramatic thriller tells the story of an elderly Holocaust survivor looking to hunt down and exact revenge on the guard who killed his family during the war.
Disierto (Jonás Cuarón): This psychological thriller follows a group of immigrants stalked by a vigilante as they attempt to sneak into the United States via the Sonoran Desert. The film stars Mexican actor Gael García Bernal.
Black Mass (Scott Cooper): Based on the book by the same name, Johnny Depp portrays the real-life Irish American gangster Whitey Bulger, a man who spent 30 years as an FBI informant embedded in the upper tiers of the Boston underworld.
If you’re in the mood for: Oscar Buzz
The Martian (Ridley Scott): In this sci-fi thriller, Matt Damon plays an astronaut stranded on Mars. As he attempts survival amidst arid Martian surroundings, his ground crew on Earth plans an epic rescue mission.
Freeheld (Peter Sollett): The true story of terminally ill New Jersey police officer Laurel Hester and her 2005 quest to pass pension rights to her domestic partner. The case became a landmark for LGBT rights in America. The star-studded cast includes Julianne Moore, Ellen Page, Steve Carrell and Michael Shannon.
Demolition (Jean-Marc Vallée): Following a family tragedy, a New York investment banker (Jake Gyllenhaal) embarks on a random trail of destruction.
If you’re in the mood for: Canadian Content
Beeba Boys (Deepa Mehta): The story of Sikh gangsters in Vancouver and their violent campaign to seize control of local drug and arms rackets.
Forsaken (Jon Cassar): A resentful gunfighter attempts to reconcile with his estranged father, while a group of land-grabbers causes chaos in their town. Shot in Alberta, this film stars father-son duo Donald and Kiefer Sutherland.
Hyena Road (Paul Gross): This war drama tells the story of a group of Canadian soldiers in Afghanistan charged with fending off the Taliban to hold a crucial highway link.
If you’re in the mood for: Art-House Mastery
Anomalisa (Charlie Kaufman and Duke Johnson): Kaufman’s first venture into stop-motion animation tells the story of a motivational speaker who attempts transcendence from his melancholic life.
Office (Johnnie To): A tale of corporate intrigue in Hong Kong told through movie musical format, starring Chow Yun-Fat and Sylvie Change. A must-see for fans of To’s films.
Parched (Leena Yadav): Set in rural India, this visual film depicts the lives of four women who rise up against the binding traditions of their communities.
If you’re in the mood for: Drama
Son of Saul (László Nemes): This winner of the Grand Prix at the Cannes Film Festival tells the tale of the great lengths undertaken by one Auschwitz prisoner to secure a Jewish burial for a small boy he is tasked with disposing of.
Dheepan (Jacques Audiard): Winner of the Palme d’Or at Cannes, this film describes the claustrophobic world of an ex-Sri Lankan soldier as he attempts to build a new life for himself in the suburbs of Paris.
The Club (Pablo Lorraín): Four priests, exiled at a seaside monastery for venial transgressions, are brought back to the world to answer for molestation charges in this black comedic drama.
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 2015.
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 Benedict Cumberbatch or Salma Hayek 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 15 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:
Christopher Plummer, Maggie Smith, Helen Mirren, Johnny Depp, Julianne Moore, Matt Damon, Salma Hayek, Steve Carell, Ellen Page, Kiefer Sutherland, Donald Sutherland, Nicole Kidman, Jason Bateman, Rachel Weisz, Colin Farrell, John C. Reilly, Ethan Hawke, Emily Blunt, Josh Brolin, Benicio Del Toro, Jake Gyllenhaal, Kate Winslet, Michael Moore, Jean Dujardin, Rachel McAdams, Michael Keaton, Sarah Silverman, Ridley Scott, Benedict Cumberbatch, Chow Yun-Fat, Sylvie Chang, Dakota Johnson, Emma Watson, Eddie Redmayne, Daniel Brühl, Geoffrey Rush, Liam Hemsworth, Gael García Bernal, Charlie Kaufman, Judy Davis, Adrien Brody, Jeremy Irons, Kevin Bacon, Tom Hardy, Michael Shannon, Dev Patel, Mathieu Amalric, Bryan Cranston.
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 Julianne Moore? 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 Johnny Depp, Jake Gyllenhaal and Emma Watson rumoured to be making an appearance this year, TIFF’s 2015 event is no exception.
Here are five 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 Geoff Webb’s market-driven French-inspired Canadian 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 Street on Bathurst Street. Its exclusive rooftop patio and infinity pool makes it a hotspot for star-studded TIFF parties.
Last year, the hotel’s rooftop party hosted the official TIFF premiere after-party of Whiplash. Amongst others, the party saw Whiplash stars J.K. Simmons and Miles Teller in attendance.
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. As host of the 2014 Warner Bros. Pictures and Dolce & Gabbana TIFF cocktail party, the restaurant saw many celebrities pass through its doors, including Robert Downey Jr. and Al Pacino.
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, while keeping 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 famous luxury 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 2015 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 2015 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 on September 6th to make sure you get a spot.
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-ticket packs) if you want to see bigger red carpet galas with bigger stars.
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 Julianne Moore or Jake Gyllenhaal (both rumoured to be attending this year) it may just be worth it.
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
Opening Tiff Soiree
Celebrating 40 years of TIFF, this year’s TIFF Soiree is 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 a celebrity guest, followed by a rooftop party, live entertainment, special guests and a few surprises. If you can afford the $300 price tag, you can join the festivities on Wednesday, September 9th 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 Reese Witherspoon, Morgan Freeman, Naomi Watts, Robert Downey Jr. and Al Pacino grace us with their presence.
TIFF has already announced its major gala premieres for 2015. 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).
- Matt Damon stars in The Martian, a sci-fi adventure epic of a stranded astronaut surviving on the harsh surface of Mars as his ground team plans a rescue mission from director Ridley Scott (World Premiere). This film is receiving much hype and should attract a number of celebs.
- Julianne Moore, Ellen Page, Steve Carrell and Michael Shannon star in Freeheld, a true-life drama about a terminally ill New Jersey police officer and her quest to pass on her pension benefits to her domestic partner from director Peter Sollett (World Premier).
- Johhny Depp stars in Black Mass, a true-story based on the life of Whitey Bulger, an Irish-American mobster-turned-informant prominent from the Boston underworld, from director Scott Cooper (Canadian Premiere).
- Eddie Redmayne stars in The Danish Girl, a biopic on the life of 1920s Danish transgender artist Lili Elbe directed by Academy Award winner Tom Hooper (North American Premiere).
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 10-13. In previous years, Bono, George Clooney, 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 several different Grey Goose-sponsored parties a night, welcoming the likes of Ben Stiller, Amanda Seyfried, Cedric the Entertainer and Kate Beckinsale through its doors, amongst others. 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, Adelaide Hall, F-Stop and Brassaii. James Franco and Michael Fassbender love to unwind at The Hoxton, while J.K. Simmons and Miles Teller were both spotted at the Thompson Hotel’s rooftop patio during last year’s Whiplash 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 2015!
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