You read that right! I’ve been attending the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) for the past 7 years! It is hands down my favourite time of the year in Toronto! This year is my 8th and I can’t feakin’ wait!!
To read about the Festival’s history, click here.
I used to (ir)regularly update my older blogs whenever TIFF came around, so those of you who have been with me for a while might have seen these already. But I thought I’d put together a little photo-diary for B+AB readers – story time in photos :) Please comment and let me know what you think of this idea (and if you like “Photo diary” entries?)
You’ll see through the photos just how much the Festival, the people and the city has changed over the last 7 years.
Why did I start attending TIFF anyway? One of my very good friends, Jill, enticed me to go way back in 2006. We were both clueless, but we love film, celebrities, Toronto and adventures, so why not? We decided to go and never looked back :)
Getting the paperwork ready
Back then, there was paperwork – as in, actual pen and paper. You actually had to pick up your ticket vouchers + schedule in-person (or pay to have it shipped to you), and then drop it off (with your movie choices) at a different location. (Sounds crazy, right?! Anyone remember this?) We always tried to make a fun day out of it, while snapping photos around the city. This shot is really memorable because we were walking around with our big DSLRS (and they were not popular back then) and people kept looking at us like we were tourists! Someone even gave us directions to the CN Tower! LOL
In all honesty, I don’t remember all of the films we watched this year, but here are some memorable snaps.
We watched The Last Kiss, directed by Zach Braff / Here he is signing some autographs and taking photos… DO YOU SEE THAT FLIP PHONE?!?
Here’s the cast walking by me in the lobby of the Ryerson Theatre lol
We also watched 10 Items or Less, starring Morgan Freeman / Had a quick moment to say hello before we all went into the theatre!
And I will NEVER get over how this dude ruined my photo!!! Morgan was talking to me and when I put my camera up for the photo, he posed. Then this douche decided to walk right by and his PR team took him away. I am still really bitter about this. Ughhhh.
We also caught Cashback, starring Sean Biggerstaff / Does he look familiar? He was Oliver in the first Harry Potter movie! :) Oh and Cashback is available on Netflix, if you’re interested. I really liked it! (Please excuse my greasy face lol)
We were there for the premiere of Atonement, directed by Joe Wright and starring Kiera Knightly and James McAvoy / Here they are being interviewed on the red carpet before we headed into the movie. Still one of my favourite movies!
We also saw the premiere of Romulus, My Father, starring Eric Bana / Here he is during the Q&A after the movie. He is gorgeous in person, but the movie was forgettable.
This was the year that life got in the way of our TIFF adventures. Jill was travelling in Europe that summer and I’d just started working as a restaurant manager and my hours were insane. We had no time to research and choose our films, so we winged it. WE CHOSE FILMS BASED ON HOW THE TITLES SOUNDED! WORST IDEA EVER. We ended up with films we did not enjoy (now looking at the titles, I don’t even remember most of what we watched.) To make matters worse, we had the option to see Slumdog Millionaire and turned it down. It ended up winning People’s Choice that year and many more awards. Lesson learned: do your film research!
We saw The Vinter’s Luck starring Vera Farmiga / Here she is signing autographs outside
And here’s some of the cast during the Q&A / Jérémie Renier, Gaspard Ulliel (unf unf unf), Keisha Castle-Hughes
We were there at the premiere of The Boys Are Back, starring Clive Owen / He is so dreamy in person!
And even though we didn’t see a Matt Damon flick, he passed by (literally) the Visa Screening Room and said hello! Matt is one of my favourite actors EVER and I was super star struck to be so close to him. I wanted to yell that I love him, but I was speechless. Thankfully, someone else in the room said it and he responded, “Thank you!!” :)
(FYI: Jill had moved across the pond at this time and so I went to TIFF films with other friends – Twitter buddies, too!)
Attended my first “Midnight Madness” film – Bunraku starring Gackt, Woody Harrelson, Josh Hartnett (he was lookin’ FOINE) and Kevin McKidd. I actually blogged about this before, so you can check out the post HERE. Complete with pictures and a video from the Q&A!
The TIFF Volunteer beside me asked Josh for a hug and I was really sad that I didn’t think to ask! So, uh… I took his photo instead! lol
I saw more films, but I have no photos! This is when camera phones started to take over documentation. I left my big camera at home more and thought “hey I can always just use my phone if I need a photo”. Evidently, that never worked before I can’t find any photos lol
I was very pleasantly surprised with Take This Waltz, by Sarah Polley and starring Luke Kirby, Sarah Silverman and Seth Rogen (Michelle Williams was missing)
Hands down, one of my favourite premieres I’ve ever attendwas was The Perks of Being A Wallflower. The movie was brilliant (as was the book) and the whole cast was so sweet and hilarious throughout the Q&A. I blogged about this one, too! You can see that HERE.
I also loved Disconnect, starring Jason Bateman, Frank Grillo, Paula Patton and Aviad Bernstein
I normally see about 8-10 movies every year, but this year I will have to cut down to around 5-6 instead. I have my shortlist ready and I can’t wait to choose my films :) We’ve come a long way from pen-and-paper to now having automated time slots to choose your movies! Kind of cool that we were there during the transition.
Have you ever been to TIFF? What excites you the most about this lovely time of the year in Toronto? Is it the movies, celebrities or parties? Let me know in the comments and maybe we can swap some tips! :) Or if you have any Q’s about the movies I featured above, ask me in the comments. I didn’t want this to be a movie-review type of post, but I’m happy to answer any questions!