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TIFF 2015: Five things you need to know

Justin Piercy | posted Thursday, Sep 10th, 2015

The change of season may be subtle in Toronto, but the signs are apparent that summer is drawing to a close.

The leaves haven’t yet begun to change colour, and the birds haven’t yet started flying south — but red carpets have sprung up across the city and some of Hollywood’s biggest stars have begun to flock north.

That’s right, the 40th edition of the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) kicks off Thursday, and we’re here to get you ready for all the festivities. No matter if you’re a TIFF rookie, a seasoned vet, or just looking to avoid the entire thing, this list of FAQs will have you prepared until it wraps on Sept. 20.

Who’s heading to “Hollywood North?”

There are simply too many to list, but here are a few of the stars you can see walking the red carpet — or possibly getting a late-night bite at Fran’s after the screening of their films (in parenthesis):

  • Sandra Bullock (Our Brand Is Crisis)
  • Johnny Depp (Black Mass)
  • Matt Damon (The Martian)
  • Ellen Page and Julianne Moore (Freeheld)
  • Tom Hardy (Legend)
  • Bryan Cranston and Helen Mirren (Trumbo)
  • Emily Blunt (Sicario)
  • Brie Larson (Room)
  • Rachel McAdams (Spotlight)

Which films are generating the most buzz and how do I score tickets?

Here are five are the most talked-about films — to save you from any potential spoilers, click on the link to get the full scoop from IMDB:

As for assuring your seat, new tickets are released each day at 7 a.m. Barring your ability to snag them here, you’re next best bet is the line for rush tickets. Tickets will be sold on a first-come, first-served basis 10 minutes before the start of the movie. Some must-haves for the rush line: Water, an umbrella and good shoes.

What venues are the films being shown at?

All of the galas will happen at Roy Thomson Hall, but films will also be shown at the Princess of Wales Theatre, TIFF Bell Lightbox, Ryerson Theatre, Elgin and Winter Garden Theatres, Scotiabank Theatre, and the Isabel Bader Theatre.

For a full venue map, click here.

Where is the best place to see and interact with the stars?

TIFF is a selfie-friendly festival. The best place for a fan to see their favourite actors is at the Roy Thomson Hall galas. When the stars get out of their limos they typically go to sign autographs with the fans, who can wait behind the barrier.

Also, check out Princess of Wales Theatre, which also offers great access for selfies and autograph opportunities.

If you’re looking for non-opening night opportunities, a lot of of the actors will be doing sit-down interviews (which you can see on Entertainment City) at places like the Intercontinental on Front Street, The Shangri-La, and the Park Hyatt.

How do I live my life without TIFF interfering?

Well, that will be a tall order, especially if you live downtown. The best advice we can give you is to avoid King Street West between Spadina and University avenues for the next 10 days. Click here for the full details, and TTC disruption, during that major road closure.


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