Advance Ordering

The advance ordering process for TIFF is completely online. You can participate in the advance ordering process if you purchase one or more of the following My Choice packages:

  • Regular Flex Pack
  • Premium Flex Pack
  • Back-Half Pack
  • Daytime Pack
If you buy one of the following TIFF Choice packages, you do not have to do anything as the festival will select films for you. You will be notified on August 31, 2013 of your films.
  • The Canadian
  • Midnight Madness
  • City to City
  • Wavelengths
  • Contemporary World Speakers
  • Daytime Sampler
  • Evening & Weekend Sampler
  • Premium Sampler
  • Closing Night Gala + Cocktail Reception
When you buy one of the My Choice packages, on August 19, 2013 you should receive an e-mail letting you know the earliest time at which you will be able to start selecting your films. Film selection can be done online, by phone, or in person at the TIFF Festival Box Office at 225 King St W (not at the Bell Lightbox). Conventional wisdom would suggest online is likely the easiest option. In person or on the phone will likely entail a wait until someone is free to process your order, which can be a time-consuming process).


Your start date and time will vary. Patrons Circle and Principal members generally have a set start time, while Contributor members and the general public will get a randomize start time after those other members. Priority is as follows:
  • TIFF Patron Circle Leadership Members
  • TIFF Patron Circle Platinum Members
  • TIFF Patron Circle Gold Members
  • TIFF Patron Circle Silver Members
  • TIFF Patron Circle Bronze Members
  • TIFF Principal Members
  • TIFF Contributor Members
  • general public
Regardless of whether or not you are a TIFF Member, you have until 7:00 PM ET on August 30, 2013 to complete your selection.

If you bought a Back-Half Pack or a Daytime Pack, your screening selection window for those packages will start on September 2, 2012. TIFF Members will select in the morning, and the general public after that.

If you choose to make your selections for your packages online, then you will log on to the TIFF site no earlier than the date and time provided to you by the festival. The system will not admit you before your specified time. You do not have to log on right at your specified time; you can log on anytime from then to the end of your selection window.

For example, if you are not a TIFF Member and you received a start time of 10:00 AM on August 27, 2013, then you can log on anytime between then and 7:00 PM on August 30, 2013.

If you buy multiple packages, each package will have its own login. But if you purchase the packages within the same transaction, you will be able to select your tickets in the same time slot, in different transactions; i.e. your start time will be the same for all packages, but you'll have to log in separately for each package.

Once you log in, you have 1 hour to complete selections for all of your packages. You must complete all your selections within this hour. Once you log out, you will not be readmitted to the system even if you haven't made all your selections. Note that this means you should plan out what films you want to see before you log in; if you try to do it within your hour, you will likely run out of time. The festival schedule is released on August 20, so between then and the start of your window, figure out what you want to see and when you want to see it.

If you disconnect from the system without checking out, you will receive vouchers you can use starting September 5 to redeem films. If you do check out but don't use up all your available tickets (e.g. you only use 8 out of 10 tickets in a 10-Ticket Pack) you will also receive vouchers.

Available inventory for films is shown in real-time. That is, when you are on the website, you will be able to see what films currently have tickets available and what films are sold out. When you successfully select a screening, you will know that you will have an actual ticket for that film. Because of this, you should log in to the system as soon as your start time comes up. If you wait a few hours, even more people will have had their start times come up and gone into the system and snapped up tickets.

Start times could come up at anytime, even during the middle of the day, so if you work a 9 to 5 job, then you'll have to make a decision whether to make your selections at work, take the day off, or wait until you get home. Best guess would suggest that many people will probably not have the luxury of logging in right at their start time, so expect that the system will probably be busier in the evenings. The system is also generally down each night for maintenance, so keep that in mind if you want to log in late at night.

Once you have made your selections, you can pickup your tickets starting at 9:00 AM on September 2 at the Festival Box Office at 225 King St W (not at the Bell Lightbox).

The actual online selection process (as it was in 2012) is described in the steps below:

1. First, decide on which films you want to see, and when you want to see them. Make a list of the films and times and sort by date and then name. If you are selecting tickets for more than just yourself, then also note the number of tickets you want for each screening. This will make it faster to select your films. You may also want to note any backup choices in case your first choice is sold out.


2. Check the e-mail you received from TIFF with your start time. If you did not receive an e-mail, then contact TIFF customer service. On or after your start time, go to tiff.net. If you do not have access to a computer, then you can call or visit the Festival Box Office to make your selections on or after your start time.

Enter the e-mail address and the password you set up when you purchased your ticket package, along with the Package Code that was in your e-mail. If you received more than one Package Code, then you must complete each package one-at-a-time. Note that if you did not purchase all your packages in one transaction, then you may receive different start times for each package.


If the start time for your package has not yet arrived, the site will alert you that your e-mail address, password, and package code are correct, but that you cannot sign in yet. If you continue to get this message even after your start time, then contact TIFF customer service.

3. Once you have successfully signed in, you will see the screen below:


Note the instructions on the screen. Once you select your first screening, you will have 60 minutes to complete your selections and checkout. If you fail to checkout before the 60 minutes are up, your order will be cancelled out, and you will receive vouchers instead of your selected screenings. If you checkout but don't pick all your screenings, you will receive vouchers for the remaining tickets.

Note once you checkout and then log out of the system, you will not be able to re-enter with that package code. You must make all your selections in one shot.

4. Now you can begin to select your films. You can search for films by schedule (i.e. by date), or by title. People have generally reported more success with searching by schedule. Click on the day of the screening you want to see. In this case, we will click on Friday, September 7.


5. You will now see a listing of all the films on that day, along with the time of the screening.


If a particular screening is sold out, it will be marked as such instead of showing the time of the screening. In the image below, The Brass Teapot has been marked off sale and cannot be selected.


6. Scroll to the screening you desire and click the time. Here, we are picking Rust and Bone at 12:00 PM.



7. You will be taken to a window where you can select the number of tickets you want to use. If the dropdown is empty or only has a 0, then click the By Schedule button at the top of the screen and try again, or make one of your other choices first and then try the original film again.


8. Once you have selected your quantity of tickets, click the Add To Cart button at the bottom of the page. This will take you to your shopping cart where you can see your selections.


9. Repeat steps 4 to 8 for the remaining tickets in your package. You can check the total at the bottom of your shopping cart to see if you've used all your tickets yet.

Also keep an eye on the timer at the top of the page. Most people have completed their orders in under 30 minutes, but if a lot of your screenings are sold out and you end up searching for backups, you could eat up time quickly. TIFF recommends that you checkout before the timer gets to 5:00 remaining.

10. Once you have used all your tickets, click the Checkout button at the top of the page. The Checkout screen should already show your first name and last name. Re-enter your Package Code in the indicated field, and then click the Continue button.


11. On the confirmation screen, do one final check to make sure your screening selections are correct and that you've used up the proper number of tickets. If everything is ok, then click the "Yes, I have completed my package ticket selections" box and click the Submit button.


12. You should then see a Order Complete screen. Note the reservation number for your records. You will also receive this number in a confirmation e-mail, but it's probably a good idea to note it in case you don't get the e-mail.


13. You can pick up your tickets starting September 2 at the Festival Box Office. You will need the pickup voucher you received when you ordered tickets online, or if you purchased in-person, you can get your pickup voucher at the box office, plus your reservation #, photo ID and credit card used for the original purchase. Consult the website at http://tiff.net/thefestival/tickets/info for more details.

If you encounter any error messages while filling out your order online, try clicking the By Schedule or By Title buttons; do not try to logout. I got an error once, but I just clicked on the By Schedule button and was able to continue on; my session was still active and my shopping cart still had all my selections.




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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