TIFF ‘12: A guide to this year’s festival

This time of year, Canadian cinephiles rejoice as Toronto becomes a temporary Hollywood, and the notable names in the film industry have an excuse to visit their friendly neighbours up north.

Spanning over ten days from Sept. 6 to 16, the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) showcases some of the most exciting and critically acclaimed up-and-coming films from all over the world.

The festival prides itself in bringing together a multitude of diverse programs, specifically designed to showcase different types of films. Whether they are wide-release feature-lengths, or short Canadian films, TIFF-goers have the opportunity to meander through the wide selection and create their own program that caters to their own specific interests.

The biggest and most exciting part of TIFF for attendees is the opportunity to be some of the first people to see films that will be in wide release in the next month or two.

These tickets are the ones that sell out the fastest, and the films that gather the most attendees, as they tend to be the more “comfortable” films.

Galas embody the ‘glitz and glamour’ of TIFF with the red carpet premieres and largest screening venues.

However, what TIFF should be recognized most for is giving equal opportunity to foreign films with limited North American exposition.

On top of that, and the festival recognizes Canadian films that will be limited in terms of exposition and gives support to new Canadian directors.

Programs such as “Wavelengths,” “Short Cuts Canada” and “City to City” offer TIFF goers a more artistic and rare exposure to films.

Although it is only halfway through the festival, here are some noteworthy events that are going on:

Popular TIFF Pramsrog: Gala Presentations, Special Presentations, Midnight Madness (Genre: Horror), Contemporary World Cinema, TIFF Docs

Most exciting celebrities attending TIFF: Ryan Gosling, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Kristen Stewart, Emma Watson, Selena Gomez, Bruce Willis, Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Ben Affleck, Jude Law, Johnny Depp, Jason Reitman, James Franco, Snoop Lion, Jennifer Lawrence, Bradley Cooper, Bill Murray, Eli Roth, Kristen Wiig.

Best Venue to watch a TIFF screening: The Elgin Theatre (VISA Screening Room). Audiences can get a feel of going to a picture palace when attending TIFF Galas or Special Presentations.

Most intimidating venue to watch a TIFF screening: Roy Thompson Hall.

Mainstream films that are making biggest buzz:  Looper, Cloud Atlas, Argo, Hyde Park on Hudson, Silver Linings Playbook, The Master, Anna Karenina, Spring Breakers, The Sessions.

Most unique presentation at TIFF: Jason Reitman’s live reading of American Beauty.

Where to find the stars: When not hiding out in their swanky hotel rooms or attending press conferences, the celebs like to hang out in Yorkville— Toronto’s fancy mink mile.

Sightings of Jude Law walking aimlessly down Hazelton, or Jim Krasinski taking a lunch break in one of Yorkville’s most expensive restaurants is where fans will have the most luck running into celebrities in this area.

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