The festival website is now accepting orders for passes and coupons. You can order online at:
Monday, July 18, 2005
Wednesday, July 13, 2005
The festival announced four of the films that will be gala presentations at this year's festival:
- Pride and Prejudice (Keira Knightley), based on the novel by Jane Austen.
- In Her Shoes (Cameron Diaz, Toni Collette), based on the novel by Jennifer Weiner.
- Walk the Line (Joaquin Phoenix, Resse Witherspoon), a biography of Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash.
- Proof (Gwyneth Paltrow, Jake Gyllenhaal, Anthony Hopkins), based on the stage play by David Auburn.
- Deepa Mehta's Water.
- David Cronenberg's A History of Violence (Viggo Mortensen, Maria Bello).
- Atom Egoyan's Where the Truth Lies (Kevin Bacon, Colin Firth, Alison Lohman).
Monday, July 11, 2005
The official web site of the festival is now live at:
Visit the site for the latest information on ordering passes and coupons, especially if you don't live in Toronto.
Friday, July 08, 2005
There's a lot to choose from when picking films. There was something like 329 films at last year's festival. Below are some ideas for helping to narrow down your choices:
- Choose something that has an actor you like. If you want to see big Hollywood stars, your best bet is probably the gala performances, but these tend to sell out before anything else. Personally, I try to avoid anything with really big stars, because films like that will most likely end up in the local multiplex at some point; why not try seeing something that you'll probably never be able to see anywhere else?
- Choose something by a director or writer you admire.
- Choose a film based on nationality. I typically like to see something Canadian, something British, something French and/or Quebecois, something Scandanavian, something Japanese, and then I fill out the rest with cinema from other countries.
- Choose a film based on genre. I also do this when selecting films; I try to see a comedy, a drama, a documentary, and something animated.
- Choose a film based on its picture in the festival guide. I've done this too; I went to see Quill, a Japanese film about a seeing eye dog, because the picture in the festival guide was of a golden retriever puppy. :-)
- If you want to see something more offbeat, try the Midnight Madness showings. These showings are at 11:59 PM during the festival. Last year they were at the Ryerson Theatre, and included movies such as The Machinist and Saw.
- When the festival is actually on, consult local papers like NOW, Eye, the Toronto Star, the Globe and Mail, or the National Post for reviews. NOW and Eye are usually pretty good, because they give capsule reviews of a lot of movies.
One other minor thing to consider when selecting a movie is the theatre in which it will be shown. Some of the theatres used during the festival are part of modern multiplexes with stadium seating. Others are university theatres or lecture halls. And then there are theatres in between. Most have pretty good sight lines, but I did get burned once last year, when I went to see a French language film at the Royal Ontario Museum theatre. The theatre does not have much of a rake, so if the person in front of you is tall or has a big head, it can obscure your view. Especially of the bottom of the screen, where the subtitles are. :-)
There are a number of passes and coupon books that will be available for sale in late July/early August. Prices listed below are in Canadian dollars and do not include GST or surcharges.
Festival Experience Pass ($63.00): This pass lets you see three films selected by the festival staff. The films selected will show after 6:00 PM on weekdays and any time during the weekend.
Festival Experience Day Pass ($60.00): This pass lets you see three films selected by the festival staff. The films selected will show between 9:00 AM to 5:30 PM.
Globetrotter Pass ($105.00): This pass lets you see six films selected by the festival staff. It also includes two vouchers to see films outside of the festival during the rest of the year (the festival group regularly shows films every month).
Globetrotter Daytime Pass ($95.00): This pass lets you see six films selected by the festival staff. The films selected will only show between 9:00 AM and 5:30 PM. It also includes two vouchers to see films outside of the festival during the rest of the year.
Festival Pass (Regular - $483.00, Student/Senior - $431.00): This pass lets you choose up to 50 films.
Daytime Pass (Regular - $183.00, Student/Senior - $157.50): This pass lets you choose up to 25 films that start before 5:01 PM.
10-film Coupon Book ($150.00): These coupons allow you to see 10 films.
30-film Coupon Book ($387.00): These coupons allow you to see 30 films.
Roy Thomson Hall VIACOM Gala Pass ($264.00): This pass allows you to see gala presentations (galas last year included Ray, Being Julia, and I Heart Huckabees). Note you can still see films there using the other passes or coupons, but the galas tend to sell out quickly due to their popularity and big name stars.
VISA Screening Room Pass ($160.00): This pass allows you to see the films at the Elgin Theatre (note you can still see films there using the other passes or coupons). Films at this theatre last year included Sideways, Hotel Rwanda, and Crash.
Closing Night Film and Party Pass ($282.50): This pass allows you to see the final screening of the festival at Roy Thomson Hall, and allows you to attend the closing festival party.