Film festival season always arrives fast and furious in Toronto. As soon as Labour Day ends, crowds seem to take over the city and red carpets can be seen left, right and centre. 

For those who have never experienced TIFF and all it has to offer, navigating the festival can seem daunting. That’s why we’ve put together this handy primer of everything you need to know for TIFF 2019. 

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The Toronto International Film Festival takes over the city every year in September. It always begins on the first Thursday after Labour Day and lasts for 11 days. Now in its 44th year, TIFF will run from Thursday, Sept. 5 to Sunday, Sept. 15. 

What To Know

The truth is that it can be tough to score TIFF tickets to the most buzzworthy films or premieres at the festival. TIFF Patrons Circle Members get first dibs on tickets starting Aug. 23. All other TIFF members get access on Aug. 31, and individual tickets go on sale to the public starting Sept. 2 at 10 a.m. 

But just because you weren’t able to nab tickets to your No. 1 movie choice doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy TIFF. For the past six years, TIFF has been hosting an event called Festival Street during opening weekend. The free event on King St. runs from Sept. 5 to 8 and features screenings, live performances, and activations. 

READ: A-List Celebs You’ll Be Able To Spot At Every Theatre During TIFF 2019

TIFF is also about more than just movies. Their popular “In Conversation With…” series features an intimate chat with select celebrities about their most recent projects. This year, that includes Michael B. Jordan and Jamie Foxx for “Just Mercy,” Allison Janney for “Bad Education,” and more. 

And, you can always count on spotting a celeb on the street or arriving at a TIFF movie premiere

Ticket Prices

Roy Thomson Hall, Princess of Wales Theatre (Visa Screening Room), Elgin Theatre, and Winter Garden Theatre are the venues with assigned seating. At these theatres, prices are based on where you sit. Regular tickets range from $19 to $43, while premium tickets (a.k.a. red-carpet screenings) cost between $26 and $83.  

READ: What It’s Like To Host A High-Profile TIFF Party At A Private Residence

Venues without assigned seating Ryerson, Scotiabank, Jackman Hall and TIFF Bell Lightbox also include a range of prices depending on the time of day. 

Regular (evenings and weekends): $29 to $36

Weekday daytime (adult): $19 to $26

Weekday daytime (under 25): $11

Premium: $53 to $60

What’s Playing?

Once Were Brothers: Robbie Robertson and The Band” will kick off the 44th festival on Thursday, Sept. 5 at Roy Thomson Hall. The documentary follows Robertson’s life and how he created legendary Canadian-American rock group The Band. 

Other highly anticipated films include “Joker,” a psychological thriller based on the iconic DC character; “A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood,” a biographical drama based on Fred Rogers’ friendship with journalist Tom Junod; “Knives Out,” a star-studded whodunnit film; “Hustlers,” a drama about a group of strippers who outwit their clients; and “Judy,” a biopic about Judy Garland.

Radioactive,” a Marie Curie biopic starring Rosamund Pike, will close the festival on Sept.14. 

Who Will Be There? 

The list of celebrities expected to attend the festival is ever-growing. A-listers include legends like Meryl Streep, Tom Hanks, and Bruce Springsteen; seasoned actors like Christian Bale, Jamie Foxx, Natalie Portman, and Jennifer Lopez; and rising stars like Constance Wu, Michael B. Jordan, and Lili Reinhart. 

The celebs will be attending red-carpet premieres in various spots throughout the city. Visit here to find out where you’ll be able to spot your favourite stars.

Getting There

You can get to any TIFF venue by car, bicycle or TTC. However, it’s important to remember that a portion of King St. will be shut down for the festival. From Thursday, Sept. 5 at 5 a.m. to Monday, Sept. 9 at 5 a.m. the road will be closed between Peter St. and University Ave. 

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This closure will affect four TTC routes: 504A King, 504B King, 508 Lake Shore, and 304 King (night route). 

On Tuesday, Sept. 10, there will be intermittent service disruptions on these routes as well. Normal service on King St. will resume the following day. 

Map Of TIFF’s Festival Street

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