In case you haven’t heard yet, Tinseltown is making its way to Toronto to celebrate the best in international films. Toronto’s International Film Festival is now in its 37th year and 2012’s festival is showing 372 films from over 60 countries (phew). The festival attracts more than 300,000 attendees and this September’s celebration is promising ‘la crème de la crème’ of the silver screen with a docket of A-listers a mile long. Get ready for 11 days of public screenings, parties and events, all while keeping your eyes peeled for confirmed attendees, including Johnny Depp, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Kate Hudson, Halle Berry, Kristen Wiig and Bruce Willis. We’ve put together a guide to some awesome events and celeb-spotting locations.
Opening Night: The opening night party will revolve around Maple Leaf Square with three DJ’s, two live performances and outdoor video screens to entertain the crowd. Approximately 3,000 guests are expected to fill this area around RealSports Bar and Grill, the site for the huge fiesta. Even if you didn’t receive your personal invite to this party, this will be a prime location for celeb-spotting.
Thursday, September 6: Chuck Hughes, the host ofChuck’s Day Offis hosting a special TIFF dinner at Brant House on September 6th to kick off the festivities. The event, calledChuck’s Night Off, will feature a menu created by Hughes himself for guests. RSVP for the limited 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. seatings.
Get dolled up to support breast cancer research at the Glitz and Glamour Breast Cancer Benefit. With hopes of raising $20,000 for research, the entertainment includes a Calvin Klein Underwear Fashion Show and live music from Nights and Weekends, Running Red Lights, CrashDex, Mikky Eriksen, Rob Friday and DJ Rouge.
September 6-16: Spuntini’s restaurant and bar located in Yorkville, will be open for lunch daily, offering delicious Italian food and an opportunity to “dine with fame” all festival long. Check out the website, here.
The Drake Hotel is part of TIFF’s Future Projections program, and is bringing in the awesome, gender-bending, crazy-in-a-good-way performance artist Peaches. Her site-specific installation will run throughout the fest, and she’ll be performing live at the Drake on September 14 ($10). She’s taking over the building and we suggest you grab your tickets, like, now.
September 10 and 11:The TIFF Docs Conference returns for its fourth year as a showcase for conversations with leaders in the documentary field, world premieres of new films and sneak previews of works in progress. Previously open only to TIFF industry, passes will be on sale to the public for the first time this year.
We’ve heard some talk about locations for great celeb-spotting locations and have come up with a list of likely locations for great festival atmosphere and photo opps:
Fortuna Ristorante in Yorkville which boasts authentic Italian cuisine. And if you’re staying around Yorkville (which is a good idea), don’t forget to stop by Carole’s Cheesecake Cafefor the best cheesecake you’ve ever had, Sorrel Restaurant which offers casual French Mediterranean cuisine or Sassafraz, a well-known celeb-studded eatery. Maybe you can get a picture of Gerard Butler’s back, like we did last year. #worthhundreds.
King West is also going to be busy, especially with the plethora of new high-end hotels opening in the area. Check out Crush Wine Bar or Le Saint Tropez for a French dining experience or Brassaii for a casual/chic atmosphere.
And of course, we can’t forget the whole reason for TIFF – great films! Make sure you get out a catch a few, especially those that won’t be opening in theatres for awhile (or at all). For tickets and schedules visit the official site here. If you have some flexible time, it’s pretty easy to get daytime screenings to even the biggest galas. Make the most of this exciting time in our city and check out some amazing international movies and documentaries!