Monday, August 22, 2011

Advance Order Process Begins Tomorrow, August 23, 2011

The Advance Order process for TIFF 2011 begins tomorrow, Tuesday, August 23, 2011. If you purchased a My Choice package (50-film pack, 30-film pack, 20-film daytime pack, or the 10-ticket flex pack), you participate in the Advance Order process. If you bought a TIFF Choice package, you don't have to do anything. Note all the My Choice packages are sold out, so if you missed out this time, you have to wait until individual tickets go on sale to the public on September 3, 2011.

If you bought your My Choice package before August, you should have already received in the mail an envelope voucher, a drop-off voucher, and a pick-up voucher. If you purchased a programme book, you should have also received a voucher for that. If you purchased your My Choice package in August, or you are a student or senior, you can go to the Festival Box Office starting August 23 to receive your vouchers. Remember to bring photo ID, and if you are a student or senior, ID that attests to that.

Starting Tuesday, August 23, 2011, go to the Festival Box Office at Metro Centre, 225 King Street W, on the Concourse Level (that's down from street level). Enter off of Duncan Street. The box office is open from 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM  on August 23, and 10:00 AM to 7:00 PM from August 24 to August 29. Note you do not have to show up first thing in the morning; in fact it's probably best to wait until later to pick up your items, as it's a pretty quick process.

It is important to note, that you go to the Festival Box Office at Metro Hall and NOT the TIFF Bell Lightbox; they will not be able to help you at the Lightbox.

Once you get to the Festival Box Office. hand over any envelope vouchers you received. You will be asked for photo ID, so make sure you've brought some along. You will receive an envelope, an Advance Order Book, and an Official Film Schedule. If you have a programme book voucher, you can exchange that for a programme book at this time. Note that you don't need to buy a programme book, as the same information in the book is also available online at the TIFF website at Some people find it easier to flip through the book, however, and it makes for a nice souvenir. You can purchase programme books at the Festival Box Office.

Once you have your items, fill them out according to the instructions inside the Advance Order Book. You can find instructions based on last year's book on this blog at, or you can watch a video put together by the festival at For tips on selecting films, and some important things to keep in mind, consult my post on the subject here:

You can return your completed Advance Order Books, in their envelopes with the drop-off vouchers, anytime before 7:00 PM  on August 29, 2011. If you drop off your forms after that time, you will be processed after all other orders have been filled. After 7:00 PM the festival will draw a random number to determine the order box at which processing will start.

If you provided an e-mail address with your order, you should receive an e-mail prior to September 2, 2011, listing which films you received from your order. It's not unusual to not receive all your first or second choices; in such a case, you will receive vouchers instead, which can be used to pick other films. Don't panic if you don't receive an e-mail; there's always people who don't receive e-mails for various reasons, but your order should still get processed.

You can pick up your tickets starting September 2, 2011 at 7:00 AM at the Festival Box Office. If you received all your 1st and/or 2nd choices, then I would recommend NOT showing up first thing; wait until later in the day. There is usually a huge line up first thing in the morning, and if you can avoid it, that's best. If you received one or more vouchers because you didn't get all of your 1st or 2nd choices, then you can line up early and exchange your vouchers for other screenings. I'd strongly recommend you look at the festival schedule in advance and pick out possible other screenings you want to see. What usually holds up the line is people trying to exchange multiple vouchers and taking ages to find another film to see.


I usually give my envelope pick up voucher to my girlfriend to pick up, and have never had to present ID. Is the ID requirement new?

As far as I can remember, they've previously mentioned the photo ID thing, and it was explicitly mentioned in their video this year. According to their FAQ:

Can someone else pick up my vouchers or tickets or can I pick them up if I purchased them using someone else's credit card?

Yes, if the cardholder notifies the box office at 416-599-TIFF | 1-866-599-8433 or emails that this will be the case prior to pick up.

The cardholder will be asked to verify their account information and provide the name of the person who will be picking up the order. The named person will need to bring valid photo ID and a hard copy of the order confirmation when picking up the vouchers or tickets at the box office.

Success today picking up the envelope without me being there.

My experiences at the Toronto International Film Festival. Note this blog is not affiliated with the Toronto International Film Festival Group or the festival itself.
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