Thursday, August 28, 2014

My 2014 Films

My picks for 2014:

  • 1001 Grams (Bent Hamer, Norway/Germany/France): Saw Hamer's Home for Christmas back in 2010, this sounds like a fun film.
  • Before We Go (Chris Evans, USA): While Evans might be best known for Captain America, this marks his directorial debut, and from some interviews I've read, may be the direction he takes career-wise once his Marvel commitments are over and done with. A friend pointed out this year there are a number of films somewhat similar in nature to Before Sunrise, this being among them. I like both Evans (in films as varied as Captain America, Scott Pilgrim, and Snowpiercer) as well as Alice Eve, so I'm interested to see how this turns out.
  • Cake (Daniel Barnz, USA): I like both Jennifer Aniston and Anna Kendrick, so picked this one for both of them.
  • Clouds of Sils Maria (Olivier Assayas, France/USA): got some good buzz out of Cannes, plus I've seen a number of Assayas' and Juliette Binoche's films at the festival (sometimes together, sometimes not). Was disappointed by Words and Pictures last year, but I'm holding out hope for this film this year.
  • Force Majeure (Ruben Ostlund, Sweden/Norway/Denmark/France): another one I heard buzz about from Cannes, about the effect of a father's actions when he thinks he and his family are about to die, but don't.
  • Kabukicho Love Hotel (Ryuichi Hiroki, Japan): this film about people intersecting in a red-light district in Tokyo sounded interesting; I didn't realize that the star, Shota Sometani, is in another film I'm seeing this year (Tokyo Tribe).
  • Kill Me Three Times (Kriv Stenders, Australia): sounds like an over-the-top, noir-ish film set in the Australian outback. Have to admit one of the main reasons for picking this is the photo of a black-clad, mustachioed Simon Pegg holding a rifle.
  • The Kingdom of Dreams and Madness (Mami Sunada, Japan): I'm seeing this documentary about Studio Ghibli back to back with The Tale of The Princess Kaguya. Having seen a number of Ghibli and Miyazaki films over the years, I'm really interested to get a look behind-the-scenes.
  • Laggies (Lynn Shelton, USA): Keira Knightley plays a woman stuck in a state of arrested development since high school who gets a push out of her rut when her longtime boyfriend proposes to her. I like Knightley, and enjoyed her in last year's Can a Song Save Your Life?
  • The Last Five Years (Richard LaGravenese, USA): Anna Kendrick is probably the only thing that could get me to see a musical like this, although I've liked some of LaGravenese's other work.
  • Mavericks Conversation with Juliette Binoche: Having seen so many of her films at the festival over the years, was a no-brainer to pick this extended Q&A with her.
  • Monsoon (Sturla Gunnarsson, Canada): intriguing look at the impact of this natural phenomenon on India. I've seen a couple of Gunnarsson's other films at the festival including Beowulf & Grendel, and Force of Nature.
  • October Gale (Ruba Nadda, Canada): a thriller starring Patricia Clarkson and Scott Speedman.
  • Over Your Dead Body (Takashi Miike, Japan): set in a theatre during rehearsals for production of a Kabuki play rife with murder and betrayal, life soon begins to imitate art. 
  • Revivre (Im Kwon-taek, South Korea): a businessman with an ailing wife struggles with his feelings for his younger coworker, against his dedication to his family.
  • Seymour: An Introduction (Ethan Hawke, USA): Hawke directed this documentary about classical musician Seymour Bernstein, that takes its focus from the question of why should anyone make art? Sounds like an interesting study, plus my girlfriend is a fan of Hawke's work.
  • The Tale of The Princess Kaguya (Isao Takahata, Japan): a film from Studio Ghibli co-founder Takahata, this film seems very visually distinct from Ghibli's (and Takahata's) normal style.
  • Tokyo Fiancee (Stefan Liberski, Belgium/Canada/France): a Belgian woman obsessed with Japanese culture falls in love with a Japanese man obsessed with French culture.
  • Tokyo Tribe (Sion Sono, Japan): based on a manga, this film is placed in a futuristic Tokyo beset by warring gangs and set ro a driving hip-hop beat.
  • The Tribe (Myroslav Slaboshpytskiy, Ukraine): a new student at a boarding school for the deaf and mute falls in with a gang of fellow students that revel in criminal behaviour from theft to prostitution, but soon falls afoul of friends.
  • Winter Sleep (Nuri Bilge Ceylan, Turkey/France/Germany): I always mean to see one of Ceylan's films but never seem to get around to it. I'm disappointed I never got to see Once Upon a Time in Anatolia, so I made an effort this year to pick his latest, which won the Palme d'Or at Cannes this year.
You can also view this list at

2014 Ticket Trades

As it was popular last year, I've created a page for comments for ticket trades and sales. Only post here if you are willing to trade tickets, or sell for the value you paid for the ticket. Do not post here if you are simply looking for tickets or are trying to sell above face value; I will delete such comments to keep the number of comments under control and to prevent scalping. To try to minimize issues, this blog now no longer accepts anonymous comments; you must sign into Google to post.

For people selling, the most a premium ticket should be is $46, and the most a regular ticket should be is $24. If you find anyone selling for more, post a comment and I will try to delete the offending post when I have time.

Double check any ticket before accepting it; I would not accept an under-25 or senior ticket unless you obviously fit that demographic, otherwise you risk not being admitted.

Use the information here at your own risk; I do not know anyone who may be posting here. If you do trade or buy, make sure whatever you receive looks and feels like your own ticket. Do not accept vouchers, e-mail confirmations, or anything else other than an actual ticket, otherwise you're probably getting scammed. If you have any issues, there is nothing I nor the festival can do for you; you're on your own.

Note if you do post here, you should delete your comment once you have gotten rid of your ticket, so that you don't continue to get inquiries. If you have problems deleting your comment, post another letting me know, and I'll try to remove it when I get a chance.

End of My Choice Ticketing and Start of Individual Sales

Note that Friday, August 29, at 7:00 PM Eastern time is the deadline for making any My Choice ticket package selections. If you have not made your picks by then, you have a second window starting at September 1 for TIFF members and September 2 for everyone else, until September 4 at 7:00 PM Eastern. If you still haven't made your selections by then, you will need to go to the Festival Box Office.

My Choice tickets can be picked up from the Festival Box Office starting September 1 for TIFF members and September 2 for everyone else (both starting at 9:00 AM). You will need your pickup voucher (which was attached to the original purchase confirmation e-mail when you bought your ticket package), reservation #, photo ID and credit card. If you want to exchange any of your picks, you can do so at the same time, up until 7:00 PM the evening before the screening.

If you bought a TIFF Choice package, you should receive an e-mail sometime on August 30 letting you know what films the festival selected for you. You can pick up your tickets from the Festival Box Office starting September 1 for TIFF members and September 2 for everyone else (both starting at 9:00 AM).

With both My Choice and TIFF Packages, you do *not* have to show up at the Box Office right at 9:00 AM, or even on that day, to get your tickets. In fact, I would recommend not showing up first thing unless you are trying to exchange My Choice tickets for different screenings.

If you didn't by a My Choice or a TIFF Choice package and just want to buy individual tickets, those go on sale at 9:00 AM Eastern on August 31. Note that the website will be extremely busy, and you may see the dreaded "virtual waiting room", which means the site will let you in once there is capacity. Don't be misled by the countdown timer in the virtual waiting room. When it ticks down to 0, you won't necessarily get in; the screen may just refresh and the timer reset. You can also try going in person to the box office or using the phone, but people have mixed experiences with every approach.

The festival will be posting an official off-sale list on the website on August 30 at 9:00 AM Eastern.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

TIFF 2014 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 2014. 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.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

2014 Programme Book Gift Bag

If you pre-ordered the Programme Book, you should have gotten it with a gift bag (while supplies last). This year's gift bag included:

  • The TIFF Programme Book
  • RBC/TIFF coffee sleeve
  • A bottle of Pepsi Next
  • A 4-pack of Cashmere UltraLuxe toilet paper
  • A flyer for Birks Days in September at Birks
  • An offer from Pizza Nova for a free jar of tomato sauce with a walk-in order over $20
  • L'Oreal lipstick
  • L'Oreal shampoo and conditioner samples
  • A 15% off coupon for restaurants in the Fairmont Royal York
  • A "Green Savings Card" for Fashion Outlets (Niagara Falls is the closest one to Toronto)
  • Two cards for a free appetizer with purchase of an entree at Milestones
  • A coupon for Airbnb
  • A coupon for McDonald's McCafe beverages
  • A variety of coupons for Cineplex
  • Information on becoming a TIFF Member
  • Tourism flyers for Toronto and the Entertainment District
  • A coupon for Express and Express Men stores
  • A discount on admission to a photography exhibition at Casa Loma of Tom Sandler's TIFF portfolio
  • A $20 gift certificate for Liberty Entertainment Group restaurants
  • 2 TIFF donation buttons
  • A small pewter pendant or earring or something with the letters JT on it (anyone know what exactly this is or who it's for?)

Sunday, August 17, 2014

TIFF 2014 My Choice Film Selection

If you purchased a My Choice package, you should receive an e-mail on Monday, August 18, letting you know the time at which you'll be able to go online to pick your films. If you bought a TIFF Choice package you won't get this e-mail as the festival will be selecting films for you.

If you don't receive an e-mail on the 18th, contact the festival to inquire further.

If you are not a TIFF member, then your start time will be a randomized time starting sometime between August 26 and August 29 at 7:00 PM Eastern Time. If you are a TIFF Patrons Circle or Principal member, you can pick starting August 24. If you are a TIFF Contributor member, you can pick starting August 25.

Start times can occur anytime during the day (though not usually overnight since they take the system down for maintenance), so you could be at work when your start time comes up. Note you do not have to log in right at your start time; you can log in anytime between your start time and 7:00 PM Eastern on August 29.

However, it is in your best interest to pick your films as soon as you can, as inventory is consumed in real-time; i.e. the more popular screenings will go first, so if you are unfortunate enough to get a later start time, some films will be off-sale (i.e. sold out) by the time you go on).

A few things to keep in mind when making your picks online:

  • You can only log in once. You cannot log in, make half your picks, logout, and log back in to make the other half. You have to pick everything at once. So if you bought a 50 pack of tickets to share with your friends, all picks have to be made by a single person at one time.
  • Once you do log in, you have a limited amount of time to make your selections. I'd recommend that you look at the Official Film Schedule when it comes out on August 19, and start planning out your picks; not just the films you want to see, but the specific screenings as well (date, time, and theatre). Also plan alternatives in case your first choices are off-sale.
  • One good tool for creating your schedule is a site called tiffr. Usually it spins up after the schedule comes out.
  • Before you check out, you may want to double check if any of the off-sale screenings have come back on-sale; if people change their minds and release tickets back before checking out, then a screening may come back on-sale.

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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