By Raquel Stecher
The Toronto International Film Festival is an annual event celebrating new movies from across the globe. It takes place over 11 days in the heart of Toronto. At its headquarters, the TIFF Bell Lightbox and at different nearby theaters, members of the press and the film industry – as well as the adoring public – gather to watch the films the programmers at TIFF have lovingly and tirelessly curated.
TIFF is where a lot of the films that go on to be nominated for major industry awards, especially the Oscars, receive galas, special presentations, and world premieres. There are Q&As, red carpet receptions, midnight screenings, press conferences, and much more. If you are a die-hard movie buff, this is an event you’ll want to add to your bucket list.
Started in 1976, it was originally called the Festival of Festivals, but in 1994, the name changed to TIFF. Over the years, TIFF has become one of the largest and most prestigious film festivals in the world. It’s North America’s answer to the Festival de Cannes.
This year’s TIFF will present a total of 343 films including 255 feature length movies and 88 shorts. Films range from just 43 second long to 14 hours and everything in between. The current slate of films was whittled down from almost 8,000 submissions. Over 80 countries are represented this year, and in an effort to showcase more films by women, 34% of the films are directed by a woman and 136 films have female leads.
Some of the big films to premiere this year include A Star is Born, Beautiful Boy, First Man, Green Book, Life Itself, Outlaw King, Colette, If Beale Street Could Talk, The Old Man & the Gun and many more. Special guests include Keira Knightley, Bradley Cooper, Lady Gaga, Anna Paquin, Ryan Gosling, Hilary Swank, Michael Shannon, Judi Dench, Gael Garcia Bernal, and a bevy of others.
Not going to TIFF this year? Why not host your own festival at home? Every year, TIFF hosts a People’s Choice Award, voted by attendees of course, for the best films shown at the festival that year. I have curated TIFF award winners and finalists from the past 5 years. These are all available to rent on DVD.com. Load up your DVD Netflix queue and have your own comfy TIFF at home (and save your pennies and go to TIFF next year)!
2012-2017 TIFF People's Choice Award winners and finalists
Click the title to rent it!
Raquel Stecher has been writing about classic films for the past decade on her blog Out of the Past. She attends the TCM Classic Film Festival as well as other events where old movie fanatics get together to geek out. Raquel has been a devoted DVD Netflix member since 2002! Follow her on her blog Out of the Past, or find her on Twitter @RaquelStecher and @ClassicFilmRead, Facebook, and Instagram.