With the 44th Toronto International Film Festival returning to the Toronto Entertainment District from September 5 to 15, we want to ensure you have a beautiful day in this neighbourhood all TIFF19 long. Yes, we want Tom Hanks’ rendition of the Mr. Rogers theme song stuck in your head the whole time too.
There are five stages of film production the producer considers before making it to the big screen. It’s no coincidence there are also five stages of TIFF19 planning you should be considering this year.
Lights. Camera. Action!
Stage 1: Development
Which films do you want to see?
First thing’s first. Now that single festival tickets are available for non-members, we suggest developing a plan to figure out which of the galas, special presentations, short cuts and TIFF docs you want tickets for. Take a look at TIFF19’s schedule here to avoid overlapping. We know you wish you could be at two places at the same time, but this isn’t A Walk To Remember.
The Toronto Entertainment District isn’t home to TIFF19 for nothing. Some of Hollywood’s biggest names and this year’s most anticipated films will be premiering right here at venues like the TIFF Bell Lightbox, Roy Thomson Hall, Princess of Wales Theatre and Scotiabank Theatre. Here are a few to watch out for!
Where: Premiering September 6 at Roy Thomson Hall.
Stargazing: Michael B. Jordan, Jamie Foxx and Brie Larson are starring in this true story about a Harvard-educated defense lawyer in Alabama, fighting for the rights of the wrongly condemned.
#TIFFtips: Want to know more about this film? The press conference will go live here on September 7 at 11 a.m. EST. Snag a seat at StrangeLove Coffee, grab a beverage and watch TIFF’s In Conversation with…Michael B. Jordan and Jamie Foxx.
Where: Premiering September 9 at Princess of Wales Theatre.
Stargazing: Meryl Streep, Gary Oldman and Antonio Banderas are taking on the Panama Papers fraud scandal in this Steven Soderbergh film.
#TIFFtips: You don’t want to faint while meeting Meryl, do you? Sit down at PAI for Northern Thai food before the premiere!
If you’ve scheduled films hours or even days apart and are looking for something to do close by, keep on reading!
Stage 2: Pre-Production
Which hotel are you staying at?
Whether you’re dedicated to film and coming from out of town or dedicated to scoping out where Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart are staying, mapping out the right hotel for you is an important step in your TIFF19 planning! Here are some of our recommendations for where to stay or where to spy.
Where: You won’t be able to miss the Bisha at 80 Blue Jays Way, right across the street from Second City – a venue close to the hearts of many actors like Mike Meyers and Dan Akroyd. Stop by to check out their humble beginnings!
Stargazing: Past guests of the hotel include Ellen Page, Emma Thompson, Stanley Tucci, Margot Robbie and Allison Janney – to name a few.
#TIFFtips: If you’re a TIFF member, you can receive 15% off your stay. Contact the hotel for more details. Don’t forget.
Where: The Shangri-La sits at 188 University Avenue, minutes away from St. Andrew subway station. You’ll also find Momofuku right next door – a popular hangout for celebs!
Stargazing: The dazzling hotel has brought back celeb guests year after year like Jake Gyllenhaal, Jessica Chastain and Dakota Johnson. We’re excited to see who will be there this year!
#TIFFtips: As an Official Hospitality Partner of TIFF, you know you’ll be treated well here. You should definitely try to reserve a table at Bosk, open for service from breakfast to dessert. You never know who you might see sitting across from you!
Where: At 181 Wellington St. W shines the glitz Ritz! If you’re here, you’ll be in close quarters to Roy Thomson Hall, red carpet events and The Shore Club for fine dining.
Stargazing: Here you’ll find the biggest names in the industry like George Clooney, Ryan Gosling and Angelina Jolie.
#TIFFtips: The TIFF Opening Party will be held here on September 5. Starting at 6 p.m. you’ll find a Louis Roederer Champagne TIFF toast, Osetra Prestige Caviar and a luxurious culinary experience.
Stage 3: Production
Which celeb hot spots will you frequent?
With all the excitement during TIFF19, you’re not the only one who will need some downtime. So where would you go if you were an A-list celeb? We’ll tell you! Grab your selfie sticks and make sure you have a pen and something for them to sign.
Where: Tucked away at 11 Duncan Street is the famous venue inside STORYs, known for its TIFF after-parties and press junkets.
Stargazing: During its debut year in 2017, attendees included Claire Foy, Andrew Garfield, Elle Fanning, Rachel McAdams and Rachel Weisz, while last year it saw folks like Matthew McConaughey, Ashley Benson, Cara Delevingne and Salma Hayek. Who says you need to go to Hollywood?
#TIFFtips: If you’re among the elite who gets invited to these parties, good for you! If you’re like the rest of us, you may need to get creative. Until you figure out how you’re getting in, why don’t you stop into Byblos for the best Mediterranean meal in the city. It’s been known to host familiar faces like Brie Larson, Emma Stone and Matt Damon.
Where: At the end of Festival Street at King St. and Blue Jays Way, you’ll spot the bright teal building with angel wings on the side.
Stargazing: Over the years, this Instagrammable hotspot has served coffee and poke bowls to George Clooney, Nicole Kidman and Kit Harrington. This year, its new TIFF lounge and photo studio will be welcoming new stars. Celebs love their smoothie bowls, amirite?
#TIFFtips: Calii Love will be closed to the public from Friday, September 6 to Monday, September 9 until 6:00 p.m. but keep your eyes peeled for A-listers walking in and out during the day.
Stage 4: Post-Production
Which restaurants/bars will you try this year?
For those celebrities hailing from Hollywood, the #TorontoED does a pretty great job at making them feel like home with our California-inspired eateries. From intimate wine bars to rooftop patios, here are a few more spots you can expect to find your faves during TIFF19.
Where: Serving farm-to-table California cuisine, it sits just steps away from the TIFF Bell Lightbox at 299 Adelaide Street West.
Stargazing: This has been a TIFF go-to for years and a staple for stanning. Its extensive wine list, coast-to-coast menu and enchanting décor can’t seem to keep stars like Margot Robbie, Sandra Bullock and Kristen Bell away.
#TIFFtips: You’ll find Figo, an equally stunning contemporary Italian restaurant right next door.
Where: Be close to the stars (the celeb and celestial kind) on the Bisha’s 44th floor at this rooftop hideaway.
Stargazing: With #views of the 6ix and a Baja California Peninsula-inspired menu, it’s no wonder chef Ben Heaton has been serving the big leagues since first opening in 2017. Its alumni include Martin Short, Shaquille O’Neal and Rafael Nadal.
#TIFFtips: Before making your way up to the rooftop, stop by the Bisha’s lobby bar Mister C for sophisticated cocktails and impeccable service.
Stage 5: Distribution
Which hashtags/accounts are you following?
We encourage documenting your TIFF19 journey so you can brag to family and friends that you breathed the same air as Jennifer Lopez and shook hands with the Joker…erm, Joaquin Phoenix.