On your way to a pre-TIFF cocktail party? Just getting ready to welcome our sexy neighbours to the south (read: Hollywood) to our fair city (some of whom are pictured in the image above and from these awesome films)? Here are some facts about TIFF to pop into conversation like a film aficionado.
Then and Now
– TIFF was created in 1976; founded by Bill Marshall, Henk Van der Kolk and Dusty Cohl and was called ‘Festival of Festivals’.
– First ever opening night took place at the Ontario Place Cinesphere.
– The festival was renamed the Toronto International Film Festival in 1995.
– TIFF Bell Lightbox opened in 2010, which features five cinemas, two restaurants, major exhibitions, and learning and entertainment facilities.
– This year features a total of 366 films – 288 Features, 78 Shorts.
– Attendance of the first festival was 35,000.
– Attendance last year was over 500,000.
– Over 2,000 Canadian films have been shown at the Festival since 1976.
– The cost of a single admission ticket in 1976 was a mere $2 (based on ticket package of 3 daytime features).
– The movie The Fifth Estate, about WikiLeaks creator Julian Assange, played by Benedict Cumberbatch, will open this year’s festival on September 5th.
-Henry Winkler was the first major celebrity to attend the festival all the way back in 1977.
– Atom Egoyan and Bruce McDonald films were rejected from the 1982 fest, so instead they projected their work onto the side of a building outside the University Theatre.
-Andre the Giant required a special chair to be built for him to attend a screening of The Princess Bride in 1987 that was twice the size of a normal chair.
-At the 2006 festival, Sascha Baron Cohen arrived at the Borat premiere in a cart pulled by ‘peasant’ women dressed in traditional garb.
-During a conference at the Sutton Place Hotel, Sean Penn lit up a cigarette — resulting in a $600 fine for the hotel.
-During the 2007 festival, Colin Farrell befriended a local homeless man and treated him to a $2,100 shopping spree.