Saturday, August 31, 2013

TIFF 2013 Experiences

I've had a couple of requests to create a thread where people can post their experiences, or must-sees, or must-avoids for TIFF 2013, so I've added this page for just that purpose. Please feel free to add in the comments any films you liked or disliked, or anything about your experiences at this year's TIFF. But try to avoid any long-winded rants or anything like that: I reserve the right to prune the comments down especially if things start getting out of hand. I'll see how this page goes this year, and if it's successful, I'll try to do this again next year.

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.

TIFF 2013 Individual Tickets On Sale Sunday, Sept. 1, 2013

Individual tickets go on sale to everyone tomorrow, Sunday, September 1, 2013 at 9:00 AM Eastern. If previous years are any indication, the online system will be heavily loaded down when ticket sales start. You may get lucky and get in right away, but more often than not you will be shunted into a "virtual waiting room" which features a countdown timer. Not sure if they'll change the way that works this year, but note in previous years, the countdown didn't actually mean anything; you wouldn't actually gain entry at the end of the countdown, it would just reset more often than not.

You can also buy in person or by phone, but I've heard stories from other people who went in person that all the films they wanted were already off sale by the time they made it up to the counter.

You can check my post from last year on how online individual ticket sales work:

If you want an idea of which films are off sale (i.e. sold out, you can check the official off sale page, or you can check my post here:, or you can check the tiffr page commenter 12amMovies posted based on comments to this blog. Many thanks to 12amMovies for posting and updating the tiffr page, and everyone who contributed off-sale screenings to the page. I know people who came later definitely appreciated the information.

Since it will be difficult for people to login initially when individual sales start, if you do manage to get in and get a chance to see any additional off-sales, feel free to add them to my comment page:

Monday, August 26, 2013

My 2013 Films

Just finished selecting my films for 2013:

  • All About the Feathers (Neto Villalobos, Costa Rica): A small-town security guard finds his life changed when he adopts a rooster for cockfighting.
  • Attila Marcel (Sylvain Chomet, France): The first live-action film from the director of The Triplets of Belleville, follows Paul, 33 but arrested in his development. His neighbour helps to unlock his repressed childhood memories, letting his experience the world through musical fantasies.
  • Beyond the Edge (Leanne Pooley, New Zealand): A documentary covering the first ascent of Mount Everest by Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay.
  • Blind Detective (Johnnie To, Hong Kong): To's latest finds Andy Lau as a blind private detective who teams up with cop Sammi Cheng to solve a variety of crimes.
  • Blue Is the Warmest Color (Abdellatif Kechiche, France): Palme d'Or winner this year at Cannes, about the relationship between a high schooler and an art student.
  • Can a Song Save Your Life? (John Carney, USA): From the writer/director of Once, a drama revolving around the music industry, with an all-star cast of both actors and musicians including Kiera Knightley, Mark Ruffalo, Catherine Keener, Hailee Steinfeld, Mos Def, CeeLo Green, and Adam Levine.
  • Cold Eyes (Cho Ui-seok, Kim Byung-seo, South Korea): Korean thriller follows a police surveillance team trying to catch a gang of bank robbers.
  • Dom Hemingway (Richard Shepard, United Kingdom): Jude Law plays a gangster recently released from prison who tears it up with his former sidekick, played by Richard E. Grant.
  • Don Jon (Joseph Gordon-Levitt, USA): Gordon-Levitt's feature film directorial debut, in which he also stars as a porn-addicted, womanizing lothario.
  • The Double (Richard Ayoade, United Kingdom): Jesse Eisenberg finds his life taken over by his doppelganger.
  • El Mudo (Diego Vega, Daniel Vega, Peru/France/Mexico): a crusading judge soon believes himself to be the target of a conspiracy after several incidents culminating in an attempt on his life.
  • Enough Said (Nicole Holofcener, USA): one of James Gandolfini's final roles, starring Julia Louis-Dreyfus as a divorced woman who is tentatively navigating a new relationship while dealing with her feelings about the past.
  • The F Word (Michael Dowse, Canada): Daniel Radcliffe falls in love with a girl already in a relationship, in this romantic comedy from the director of Goon, Fubar, and It's All Gone Pete Tong.
  • Gloria (Sebastián Lelio, Chile/Spain): Paulina Garcia plays a woman looking for love and life.
  • The Grand Seduction (Don McKellar, Canada): A small town tries to entice a big city doctor into staying permanently so they can win a new factory and save the town. Be interesting to compare and contrast this with La grande séduction (can't remember if I actually saw this at TIFF back in 2003 or not). Ken Scott, the original screenwriter, collaborated with Michael Dowse (who wrote and directed The F Word, which I'm also seeing this year).
  • In Conversation With Spike Jonze: interview with Jonze with clips from his new movie, Her, which stars Joaquin Phoenix.
  • The Love Punch (Joel Hopkins, United Kingdom/France): a romantic comedy-cum-heist movie starring Pierce Brosnan and Emma Thompson as a formerly married pair of thieves.
  • Lucky Them (Megan Griffiths, USA): Toni Collette plays a music journalist looking into the decade-old disappearance of a local musician, who just also happened to be her former boyfriend.
  • Man of Tai Chi (Keanu Reeves, USA/China): the directorial debut of Keanu Reeves, who also plays the organizer of an underground martial arts tournament that lures in Linhu (played by Tiger Chen), who needs money to save his master's temple.
  • The Past (Asghar Farhadi, France/Italy): From Oscar-winning director Farhadi (A Separation), The Past finds an Iranian man travelling to Paris to secure his divorce from his wife, but ends up being drawn in deeper into her life and that of their daughter.
  • Quai d'Orsay (Bertrand Tavernier, France): a political satire built around a French foreign minister and his staff.
  • A Touch of Sin (Jia Zhangke, China/Japan): won best screenplay at Cannes this year, and tells tales of four people driven by circumstance into violent action.
  • Unforgiven (Lee Sang-il, Japan): a remake of Eastwood's Unforgiven that transplants the action to late 19th-century Japan. I watched one of Lee's previous films, Hula Girls, at a previous festival).
  • The Wind Rises (Hayao Miyazaki, Japan): the latest film from Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli that tells a somewhat fictionalized story of the man who designed the Zero fighter, and which seems to have generated divided reactions overseas.
  • Words and Pictures (Fred Schepisi, USA): I usually end up seeing any film Juliette Binoche is in at the festival, and here she plays a painter locked in a debate with Clive Owen's English teacher over which form is the more expressive and meaningful.
  • You Are Here (Matthew Weiner, USA): Weiner's (Mad Men) feature film directorial debut, starring Zach Galifianakis as an offbeat fellow who ends up inheriting his estranged father's considerable estate, much to the chagrin of his sister, played by Amy Poehler.
You can also view this list at

Sunday, August 25, 2013

TIFF 2013 Off-sale (Sold Out) Screenings

This post is a placeholder for people to add comments for any films that they notice as sold out (i.e. off sale) when completing the online ticketing process for My Choice packages for TIFF 2013. Feel free to post a comment for anything you see as sold out when you log in to make your picks to help others out.

Note that films may come off sale if people release them before checking out because they changed their mind or failed to complete the check out process. Also, even though a screening sold out during the My Choice selection process, it may become available again when individual tickets go on sale.

Tickets off sale as of September 14, 2013 at 8:37 PM:

  • Sunday, September 15
    • All Cheerleaders Die
    • Antboy
    • At Berkeley
    • Attila Marcel
    • Bethlehem
    • Child's Pose
    • Closed Curtain
    • Cold Eyes
    • The Dinner
    • The Double
    • Enough Said
    • Exit Marrakech
    • Fading Gigolo
    • Faith Connections
    • The Finishers
    • Giraffada
    • Giselle
    • Gravity
    • Home From Home - Chronicle of a Vision
    • Hotell
    • Ladder to Damascus
    • The Last of the Unjust
    • Le Week-end
    • Life of Crime
    • The Lunchbox
    • Manakamana
    • Manuscripts Don't Burn
    • Mystery Road
    • Oculus
    • Omar
    • Palestine Stereo
    • Quai d'Orsay
    • Rock the Casbah
    • Something Necessary
    • Stranger By the Lake
    • The Summer of Flying Fish
    • Trap Street
    • Unbeatable
    • Under the Skin
    • Unforgiven
    • We Gotta Get Out of This Place
    • When Jews Were Funny
    • The Wind Rises
    • Witching & Bitching
    • The Wonders
    • Young & Beautiful

Friday, August 23, 2013

My Choice Package Selection Starts August 24, 2013

Selection of My Choice Regular Flex and Premium Flex packages begins tomorrow, Saturday, August 24, 2013. From August 24 to August 27, TIFF members will select their packages. From August 27 to August 30, the general public will select their packages.

You should have received your start time from TIFF by e-mail by now; if not, contact the festival for help. Note that TIFF members generally select first in descending order of their level, followed by everyone else, who are each given a randomized start time.

If you purchased a My Choice Back-Half or Daytime package, your selection window will be on September 2.

If you purchased a TIFF Choice package, you will be e-mailed the movies selected by TIFF for you on August 31.

For My Choice Regular Flex and Premium Flex package holders, you have from your assigned start time until August 30 at 7:00 PM Eastern to sign in and complete your selections. If you fail to log in during this period, you will have to wait until September 2 at 9:00 AM Eastern before you will be allowed to log in again. Note that the website will be down for maintenance between 1:00 AM and 4:00 AM every day. If you don't have internet access, you can also make your selections at the Festival Box Office or by phone, but only after your start time.

Note that once you log in, you have a maximum of 1 hour after your first selection to make the remainder of your selections and check out. If you exit without checking out, your choices will not be saved and you will receive vouchers instead that can be redeemed for films later. If you don't use up your allotment of tickets, you will receive vouchers for the unused portion. Once you have logged in, you cannot log out and re-log in again at a later date; all your choices must be made during the same session.

If you bought multiple packages, you will receive a separate login for each package. You will need to login separately for each package and make the selections independently. Your start times may or may not be different for each package, depending on when you bought them. I would recommend completing and Premium packages before Regular packages, as Premium tickets have a smaller inventory and sell out quicker.

Some tips:

  • Before starting, make sure you have your username and password that you used when you signed in to the TIFF site to originally buy your packages, along with any package codes.
  • If a screening is marked off-sale, it is sold out. But before you check out, go back and check the film again, as inventory may have be released by other people who changed their minds. 
  • If you encounter any error messages when filling out your order online, try clicking the By Schedule or By Title buttons; do not try to logout.
  • When you check out, note any reservation number displayed to you. You should be e-mailed this number, but it's good to note it just in case.
For more information on the online selection process, consult my Advance Ordering page:

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

2013 Programme Book Tote Bag

If you pre-ordered the Programme Book, you should have gotten it with a tote bag (while supplies last). This year's tote bag included:
  • A tote bag sponsored by Timberland
  • A container of orange and blue Jelly Belly jellybeans from Firefox Flicks
  • A portable lint brush from RBC Avion
  • A pen with a blue highlighter from Pacific Rubiales Energy
  • A coupon to upgrade a regular admission to UltraAVX at Cineplex theatres
  • A gift card from Pizza Nova
  • A coupon for a $1 small McCafe beverage from McDonalds
  • A coupon for Porter airlines
  • Coupons for admission/drinks at Media Bar during the festival
  • A pamphlet for the Toronto Entertainment District
  • A card from Wolf Blass
  • A map of the downtown with the festival venues from Timberland
  • A card outlining the benefits of TIFF membership
  • A card advertising short films celebrating the 100th anniversary of The Elgin and Winter Garden Theatres from bravoFACT
  • A card advertising, a site that highlights all the film festivals in Toronto throughout the year
  • The Official Film Schedule
  • The Programme Book

Monday, August 19, 2013

Selection Times Being E-mailed

TIFF is in the process of sending out e-mails with the start of selection windows for each My Choice package. A lot of people have tweeted that they've received their e-mails; I got mine at 4:52 PM on Monday, August 19, 2013. The festival tweeted that e-mails are still going out, so don't worry if you haven't gotten yours yet. If you haven't received it after today, I'd suggest calling the festival to get your time.

Tomorrow, on Tuesday, August 20, 2013, the festival will release the full schedule with dates and times for all the screenings. You'll be able to see this information online at the website, or you can head to the festival box office at 225 King St W and pick up an Official Film Schedule. Note starting August 20th, all festival-related purchases/inquiries will be handled from the festival box office, not the Lightbox (unless you are a Patrons Circle member).

If you pre-purchased a programme book online, you should have received an image with a pick-up voucher for the book. You'll need to bring that voucher with you, printed out (not on your phone or tablet), in order to claim your programme book. If you did not receive (because you ordered over the phone or in-person) or lost your voucher, you will have to go to the festival box office with your reservation #, photo ID, and credit card. Note the festival says they won't replace vouchers until September 2. Note you don't need a programme book to make your selections; the free official film schedule or the information online at the website is sufficient.

Consult my page to find out how the online ticketing process works for selecting your My Choice films. It doesn't look like they've changed the process at all from 2012 so far.


Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Updated How To Pages

The How To links at the bottom of each page in this blog have been updated to reflect 2013 dates and the online ticketing selection process. If you have any questions feel free to add a comment to this post.

A few other things to watch for this year:

  • Pick Up Vouchers are electronic this year. If you didn't print them out when you ordered online, or if you ordered over the phone or in-person, you will need to pick them up from the TIFF box office. Consult the TIFF website at for more info.
  • The Cineplex at Yonge and Dundas is not being used this year.
  • The Bloor Hot Docs Cinema, which is being used this year, is further away from the bulk of the other theatres, so plan your schedule carefully if you end up with a film here.

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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