Toronto International Film Festival Must See List
One of Toronto’s busiest times for stretch limo service revolves around the Toronto International Film Festival – you’ll see them practically lined up around the block in the Yorkville district and throughout the downtown core, taking celebrities to screenings, parties and press conferences. Hard to believe it’s the festival’s fortieth anniversary: forty years of partying it up, Hollywood style, in Canada’s hippest town. If you’re in town for TIFF, be sure to call Airlift Limo to reserve your ride today. Even in the downtown core, while you hobnob with the luminaries of the entertainment world, you can always be assured of a swanky ride by using their smartphone app; it’s a free download from the App Store or Google Play.
It’s an exciting time for Toronto, and for the film industry at large, as TIFF is one of the world’s most prestigious film festivals. Right up there along with Cannes and Sundance, it brings more glitz and glamour to the city than at any other time of year. Red carpet receptions are everywhere, with top directors and actors in attendance, not to mention the chance to be among the first to see acclaimed films long before they are released to theatres.
Every year has its share of special must-see events, and 2015 is no exception. Aficionados can attend a special free screening of the Alfred Hitchcock masterpiece Vertigo, with Bernard Herrmann’s musical score performed live to picture by the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. Happening at three in the afternoon on Sunday September twentieth, it’s a free event but you’ll need to reserve by calling 416-599-TIFF or by stopping by the festival box office at the Metro Centre at 225 King Street West.
New to the festival this year is the Primetime category, one which celebrates the artistic renaissance of televsion programming that we are currently in the midst of. Internationally acclaimed directors from countries like Iceland, Argentina and France as well as Academy Award winning American directors present a handful of episodes from what they deem to be the strongest offerings in international television.
Included in this program will be a preview of the new series that follows Rolling Stones’ guitarist Keith Richards on the road as he goes about recording his first solo album in more than twenty years. Titled Keith Richards: Under the Influence, it screens on September seventeenth at the Princess of Wales Theatre. The director, Morgan Neville, will be present for an extended Q&A session after the screening, as will the legendary Keith Richards himself.
Lovers of the darker side of genre film must attend Midnight Madness, TIFF’s showcase of cutting edge pre-distribution horror, fantasy, action and shock film. And yes, they do start at midnight – for the most part, anyway, as the premieres will always screen at midnight, but subsequent showings are scheduled for more accessible times on subsequent dates. Expect lineups around the block outside of the Ryerson University venue on Gerrard Street, where Midnight Madness has been held since 1988.
If parties and making the scene is what you are all about, you’ll find many of the ‘official’ TIFF venues, and even some non-official ones, have applied for extended liquor licenses so they can serve legally until four in the morning. Getting into any of the more exclusive parties of course depends on who you know, how much you’re willing to pay, and whether you can abide standing in endless lines. Security is always directly co-related to how many celebs are in the building, but there are plenty of bashes that are open to the public and just as high on the glamour meter. Stars will begin to descend on Toronto starting September fourth, so if you plan on booking a limo to get you from fete to fete, insiders suggest you should think about booking as early as possible. Some of the historic festival hot spots are Nikki Beach White Party at The Spoke Club on King Street West, The Drake Hotel on Queen West and generally everywhere you wander throughout the theatre district, always at the heart of Toronto’s most star studded time of year.