From September 6th to 16th, Toronto was charmed and swooned by movie star magic. With the 37th annual edition of Toronto International Film Festival — “TIFF” —taking place, the city was buzzing with energy and excitement.With more than 300 movies showing and a plethora of Hollywood A-list celebrities, the festival is famous for two things: an abundance of Oscar-worthy movie premieres, and fabulous parties.
Naturally, the movies are on centre stage with hundreds of premieres in a variety of theatres throughout the city filled with celebrities. This year, the prestigious honour
of being the TIFF opening film was given to the Rian Johnson directed film — Looper — starring Brice Willis and Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Another notable film premiering at TIFF was the David O. Russell’s comedy —Silver Linings Playbook — starring Bradley Copper and Jennifer Lawrence that also had the distinction of winning the People’s Choice Award.
With every year, TIFF gains more notoriety in the worldwide media, and the festival continues to attract yet larger crowds. While the spotlight may have shined mostly on the movies, there were many fabulous parties where the real action of the movie and celebrity world took place! First on the list was the annual Canadian Filmmaker’s Party on the rooftop patio at The Spoke Club on September 5th. The Spoke Club is a private members club in the trendy King Street West neighbourhood, with an open-bar and etalk TV show emcee Ben Mulroney hosting the party in a room filled with the major players in the Canadian move industry.
The busiest night of the festival was the opening on September 6th with four parties on my personal agenda. My favorite was the Toronto’s Most Stylish cocktail a party hosted by Toronto Life magazine at the new Shangri-La hotel in downtown Toronto. With a large contingent of Toronto’s social circle in their best cocktail attire, it was an exciting way to have a first experience with the opulent new Shangri-La hotel.
One of the most coveted invitations to receive during TIFF each year is Four Seasons’ annual George Christy Cocktail Reception. Although the Four Seasons new Yorkville hotel does not officially open until October 5th, this lunchtime affair allowed yet more of Toronto society types the opportunity to preview what’s in store with this new five star hotel.
Finally, and not to be outdone, Ritz Carlton in downtown Toronto hosted the hottest invite for TIFF opening weekend with the Hello Magazine’s Movie Star Magic party. In a room filled with numerous Hollywood and local celebrities, including athletes like Toronto Maple Leaf Joffrey Lupul and models like Miss Universe Natalie Glebova, and interestingly enough even Conrad Black made a popular appearance – this was definitely an evening to remember.
When TIFF festivities take over the city, there isn’t much time to sleep! With so many exciting events happening every day, at the blink of an eye one can miss a chance encounter with the likes of Brad Pitt or George Clooney. I am surely not alone among many Torontonians who enjoy rubbing shoulders with Hollywood elite, and of course all the action it brings to the city. If you’ve never attended the festivities, be sure to pencil it in for the next year!
For UC Family Magazine Marta Tryshak, WithLoveGabrielle.com