Art and culture is the soul of a city. People expressing themselves through different mediums whether it’s film, music, dancing, or painting is one of the most human things anyone can do; the ultimate expression of oneself. Events like The Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) bring stories, ideas, and culture from all over the globe, allowing the people who attend these events the opportunity to fully indulge in the human experience and live their lives.
Founded in 1976, TIFF is one of the most prestigious events Toronto has to offer. Once originally centered in Yorkville, TIFF now takes place within Toronto’s entertainment district with their headquarter located at 350 King St West. Over the years some of Hollywood’s most decorated films have premiered at TIFF including, The King’s Speech, Slumdog Millionaire, Ray, Precious, and Silver Linings Playbook.
Every year over 480,000 people attend TIFF from all over the world. People have many reasons for attending this festival, some to celebrate film, some for the culture and arts, or in some cases just to star gaze. No matter the reason you choose to attend TIFF, one thing remains true: there is something for everyone. One of the most difficult things about a giant event like TIFF is trying to navigate your way through all of the different events, parties, and premieres which is why we created the TIFF 2018 Guide.
The TIFF 2018 Guide:
For film fans, getting to see your most anticipated film at TIFF could be difficult depending on what you plan on attending i.e. premieres or gala presentations (where actors and directors appear). Most films are shown at least two other times during the festival circuit giving last-minute film fans the opportunity to see the films of their choice at different venues (Roy Thomson Hall, Visa Screening Room at the Princess of Wales, Elgin, Winter Garden).
Tickets for TIFF vary depending on price, age, and tier.
Regular – $18-42
Premium – $25-82
For venues without assigned seating (Ryerson, Scotiabank, Jackman Hall and TIFF Bell Lightbox), pricing remains the same.
Regular (Evenings & Weekends) – $28-35
Weekday Daytime (Adult) – $18-25
Weekday Daytime (Under 25) – $10
Premium – $52
**Rush tickets – Sold approximately 10 minutes before the start of the screening based on availability. There is a limit of one ticket per person. Arrive as soon as possible to join the Rush line. When available, are $20 (Regular) and $40 (Premium).
Box office hours also vary depending on your relationship with TIFF.
The Steve & Rashmi Gupta Box Office Hours
Daily 10:00 am to 10:00 pm
TIFF 2018 Festival Box Office
September 4 – September 15, 2018 8am–7pm
September 16, 2018 10am–5pm
Members’ Box Office
September 4 – September 15, 2018 8am–7pm
September 16, 2018 10am–5pm
Other than film, TIFF does also offer guests different features like shopping and a members lounge and reference library and a CIBC Canadian Film Gallery.
The TIFF membership allows for people to get access to tickets ahead of time with the Bell Blue Room Members’ Lounge allowing for film lovers to enjoy a snack, a drink from their bar or to just sit back and enjoy the view of Toronto.
Must-See Films At TIFF 2018
The Hate U Give
Based on the novel of the same title by Angie Thomas, Starr Carter watches the police shoot and kill her best friend, her community demands action. And, as the only witness, Starr has to decide if she wants to go public with what she saw and possibly become the face of a movement.
A cast including Viola Davis, Daniel Kaluuya, Liam Neeson, Jacki Weaver, Colin Farrell, and Michelle Rodriguez propels Steve McQueen’s thriller. This film was co-written by Gone Girl’s Gillian Flynn, in which four women left in a deadly lurch when their criminally connected husbands are all killed.
French filmmaker Claire Denis’s long-anticipated sci-fi drama stars Robert Pattinson, Juliette Binoche, Mia Goth, and André Benjamin as a group of criminals sent into deep space.
As a filmmaker, Denis has made love stories, crime movies, coming-of-age, and even horror. Her films are focused on the truth of human behaviour.
This biographical drama film stars Steve Carell, Timothée Chalamet, and Maura Tierney. It’s based on the real-life story of meth addiction through the eyes of David Sheff, who watches his son Nic struggle with drug abuse and recovery.
The Old Man And The Gun
Academy Award winners Robert Redford and Sissy Spacek lead an all-star cast, including Danny Glover, Tom Waits, Elisabeth Moss, and Casey Affleck, in director David Lowery’s true-life dramedy about an unrepentant bank robber and jail-breaker determined to live life by his own rules.
Based on the true story of career criminal and prison-escape artist Forrest Tucker, the film revives a cinematic tradition of reflecting on America’s outlaw fixation.
Filmmaker and conservationist Rob Stewart’s documentary is about the illegal shark-fin industry and a call to save an imperiled animal from the edge of extinction.
“The film’s gorgeous imagery lures you in, while its nerve-wracking scenes of Stewart risking his life to expose hunters keeps you riveted.” Stewart’s said he made these films to make people fall in love with sharks.
The Good Girls
Set during the 1982 economic crisis in Mexico, this film revolves around a wealthy couple struggling with the prospects of financial uncertainty.
The TIFF Shop
The TIFF shop offers film fans to purchase a whole variety of different products. Some of the items included in the TIFF shop are TIFF 2018 Festival Program Book, notebooks, art, bags, and decorative pieces.
In Conversation With…
For people who want to experience something more than the screening of a film, TIFF also offers film fans to sit down experience an in-person interview with some of their favorite actors. Tickets for this feature of TIFF can be found on Ticketmaster under the section browse by program. Actors being featured at the TIFF 2018 “In Conversation With…” are, Mahershala Ali, Hilary Swank, and Maggie Gyllenhaal.
Some of the most anticipated films at TIFF 2018 are “A Star Is Born”, “In Fabric”. Tickets can be purchased here.
**TIP: This event does fill up quickly, and there is no assigned seating. For the best seats, you have to be there early.
Where To Eat At TIFF 2018
Assembly Chef’s Hall
Food typically isn’t the main priority when visiting TIFF. While star-gazing and film-watching are a priority for most TIFF attendees, food will still need to be on the radar. If you can’t decide where to go, we recommend a few places.
If you haven’t heard of the 18-restaurant sprawling food hall, you’re missing out. Assembly Chef’s Hall is located in the heart of the Financial District. With everything from BBQ and ramen to vegan eats and even a stand-up sushi bar. You’ll find everything here.
The Templar Hotel’s restaurant space has recently been transformed by Buca alumni Rob Granicolo and Francis Bermejo. It is now an Asian-influenced kitchen with a cocktail bar. At Mother Tongue, you’ll find food and drinks inspiredbym Filipino, Japanese, Chinese, and Canadian cuisines.
Restaurateurs Nuit and Jeff Regular spotlight Royal Thai cuisine which is an increasingly rare style where they curated a menu of dumplings, lettuce wraps, and salads dressed with precision.
The restaurant, which opened in late May, has bright white walls, a custom marble bar, tropical plants, and gold accents.
Where To Get a Drink at TIFF 2018
The Lightbox is conveniently close to Bar Hop, featuring an impressive menu of limited and rare brews from Ontario and beyond. The Peter location has an awesome rooftop patio for warmer evenings.
Where is TIFF Located?
As mentioned earlier in this article, the TIFF headquarters is currently located on King St West. King St is the center of all things TIFF, although premiers do occur at different venues throughout the city (Ryerson Theatre and Elgin Winter Garden Theatre). Throughout TIFF, King St becomes what is known as Festival Village, almost all of the action goes down between Peter St. to University Avenue.
Some of the events/activities that take place within Festival Village are sponsored-vendors, outdoor patios, interactive installations, and the ushering in of limousines for premieres. The best part about Festival Village is that almost all of the events and activities are FREE to partake in.
For film fans looking to catch a glimpse of their favorite actors, the Festival Village is the right place to go to as most will be entering the premiers there. Which brings us to the TIFF Insiders Guide…
TIFF Insider’s Guide: Where to Run Into Celebrities
At Kibii, we are fortunate enough to be able to provide to you with a TIFF Insider’s Guide, as we have TIFF contacts who have worked the festival circuit over the years. They have provided us with the best spots to run into your favourite celebrities throughout the duration of the two-week festival.
The Shangri-La Hotel
The Shangri La Hotel, located at 188 University Ave is one of the most prestigious spots in Toronto, making it a natural hangout for celebrities during festival season. What makes the Shangri-La even more of an attraction for celebrities is the fact that it is located directly beside the Soho House Toronto. Many celebrities will be spotted in the hotel lobby or Soho House between premieres throughout the festival during their downtime.
The Ritz Carlton
Much like the Shangri-La, the Ritz Carlton is another top-tier hotel in the city of Toronto. Located at 181 Wellington St W, this hotel has incredible dining, spa treatments and other luxuries, the Ritz is a go-to spot for anyone looking to stargaze during TIFF. Famous faces that have been spotted at the Ritz-Carlton are George Clooney, designer Isaac Mizrahi, Olivia Wilde, Ryan Gosling, and Evan Rachel Wood.
The InterContinental Hotel
The InterContinental Hotel is located at 225 Front St. TheInterContinental is much different from the other hotels mentioned on this list as it is the focal point for all press that happens during TIFF, all the major international news outlets gather at the InterContinental to conduct their interviews, with entire floors being sectioned off to conduct interviews on rotation for different actors and directors.
It’s no secret that the city of Toronto has some of the best restaurants in the world, giving A-Listers a wide selection to choose from during their stay in Toronto throughout TIFF. According to our industry insider, these are the top restaurants to stargaze during the festival season:
- Starbucks (Yorkville locations are the ones to watch out for)
- Kasa Moto
- Cafe Boulud (The Four Seasons Hotel)
- Sotto Sotto
- The Chase
**TIP: Avoid flash photography for any photos you wish to snap in a restaurant. Try to be discreet when asking for a picture, and avoid interrupting a celebrity during dinner/conversation.
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