Saturday, August 31, 2013

Tips on Attending TIFF

I've had a few commenters asking about tips on attending the festival once you have you tickets in hand. I have a post for that (, but probably the most detailed information I've seen recently is on Larry Richman's blog, where he's put together a series of posts on what happens during the festival:

Some general things to note:

  • Theatres are generally not right next door to one another, so be sure you leave yourself enough time.
  • Public transit, especially the subway, is the best and fastest way to get around. Check out the Toronto Transit Commission's site at for information on fares, routes, closures, and service advisories. One important thing to note is that there are still nightly shutdowns of the Yonge subway between Eglinton and Finch stations every night (except Saturday). If you need to head north from downtown after a late film or Midnight Madness, keep in mind that you'll eventually be shunted onto shuttle buses.
  • One other thing to note with the subway: on Sunday, it starts up significantly later, so check the schedule for those days.
  • If you ask a question during Q&A after a film, keep it short and actually ask a question rather than just gushing; no one else wants to hear that.
If you have your own tips for others, feel free to post them in the comments.


I just want to thank the people who mentioned tips on Venue legroom etc.

What's the best way to deal with these:
1. People still checks their phones, or texts. The light is very distracting. (Some moderators emphasized this part in the introduction but there are still individuals that like to check their phones constantly.)
2. People cutting in line especially when the line starts moving. Some people who show up at that moment just sneak right in. It's irritating. Wonder if staff and volunteer can be more on top of that?
What's your take?

I've noticed a lot of people with badges constantly checking their phones. Who are they and what are checking?

Probably the time...when you have to get to another venue etc.

If they have badges, they're probably press or industry.

How effective and common are RUSH lines at major premieres like 12 Years a Slave? Would a highly anticipated fiom like that have a RUSH line? If so, how early should someone get there to ensure they can snag a seat?

At TIFF, you can rush ANY and every screening.

It's virtually unheard of that a film doesn't let in at least SOME of the rush line.

Things to consider when rushing:

- Popularity of film and star power - if it's a red carpet premiere with Brad Pitt showing up, chance are there are going to be big fans that show up waaaaaaay in advance to rush and there are going to be a lot of them.

- Time of screening. Prime time / evening screenings have more people rushing and people lined up for longer. Morning screenings are generally easier to rush since people don't like getting up at 6am. For 9am / 9:30 screenings, if you show up between 6 and 7 am, you'll be one of the first 5 people in line. For primetime screenings you may need to show up more early than that.

- Size of theater matters when it comes to how many people are going to be let in with rush. The Elgin, RTH, PoW and Ryerson are massive and usually end up with tons of people being let in. Could be hundreds. For smaller theaters, because there are so few seats, you may end up with only a few people being let in.

- If you show up VERY VERY early and are the first person in the Rush line, then the people who come to sell off their extra tickets will likely offer them to you first. I've shown up to rush 3 hours in advance only to have someone come by and sell me their ticket.

- Have cash ready, rush is cash (or vouchers, no credit)

- Bring a book, water, food and if you have one - one of those tiny foldable stools - i'm always jealous of the people that have them.

- if you show "too early", there may not be a rush line yet. Pester volunteers until they set one up for you or at least acknowledge that you're the first one there to rush the film. (You're unlikely to be the first one at an RTH Gala rush).

>>> 2. People cutting in line especially when the line starts moving. Some people who show up at that moment just sneak right in. It's irritating. Wonder if staff and volunteer can be more on top of that?

It's beyond irritating. Who do these people think they are? I call them on it and try to shame them when I see it happening.

Does anyone have the number of seats in the Scotiabank theatres 7-14? I have these numbers for 1-4: 1 (550), 2 (530), 3 (450), 4 (430).

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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