One of the major events on Toronto’s annual festival calendar has become one of the marquee dates on Hollywood’s yearly calendar as well. Taking place between September 4th and 14th this year, the Toronto International Film Festival features gala premieres of upcoming cinematic releases, appearances and talks by A-list Hollywood actors and directors, a film industry conference, and special public screenings of festival movies, many of which are yet to see wide release.
Begun in 1976, the Toronto International Film Festival (or TIFF, as it is frequently abbreviated and referred to in its year-round form as an organization promoting the cinematic arts) has grown to include a program of over 300 films from over 70 countries, attended by 400,000 film-lovers. The festival’s location outside of but very close to the United States, its timing at the end of summer, and its well-established international reputation have all contributed to making TIFF the preferred venue for premieres of the prestige releases of the fall movie season. Last year’s Academy Award winner for Best Picture, 12 Years a Slave, received its world premiere at TIFF last year, as did many other leading contenders for the most pretigious award in film.
Crowds flock to the red carpets outside of the gala theatres in downtown Toronto to catch a glimpse of Hollywood royalty every year, and Toronto’s hotels, restaurants, and clubs are hopping with both celebrity patrons and those looking to spot them. Additionally, for the first time at this year’s festival, King Street West will be closed (between University Avenue and Peter Street) to non-TIFF vehicular traffic for the Festival Street pedestrian promenade, which brings food vendors, live music, and art installations to the heart of the festival. All told, this year’s edition should be among the liveliest and most exciting in the festival’s storied history.
For more information on the festival program, tickets, and gala screenings with famous guests, check out TIFF’s website. Global Alliance is the official chauffeured transportation provider for the Toronto International Film Festival. Watch for our cars and drivers on the red carpets at this year’s glamorous 10-day event.