Monday, August 27, 2007

TIFF 2007 (Sept. 6th - 15th): Here we go!

Missed a TIFF diary? Want to catch up? Enjoy:
2006, 2005, 2004, 2003, 2002

Hey, did you hear?

It’s TIFF time!

Welcome back to readers from past diaries and a big “well, hi!” to anyone surfing through for the first time. Please, grab yourself a cocktail or a coffee, kick your feet up and settle in for Moviepie’s annual coverage of Toronto’s magical cinematic circus! If you’re here for the first time, or attending TIFF for the first time, feel free to click any of the links above to read about past festivals or to peruse the always-important list of film-festival DOs and DON’Ts. I’ll be posting here every single night of the fest (and occasionally pre-fest), so check back often. Entries will eventually be fancified and reposted over on Moviepie for all eternity.

2007 marks the 32nd Toronto International Film Festival and, as usual, the passing of another year brings with it assorted changes...few for the better. Much to the shock and horror of many, the fest execs decided to scrap the 30-coupon book. Oh dear. Tsk tsk. Not a smart move. Many a fan was in an uproar over the absence of arguably the most popular ticketing option. (Click the link to find out where to address your complaints and concerns.) Prices crept up again, and all sorts of silly new ticket “packages” have been introduced in an effort to lure even more moviegoers to the increasingly crowded screenings. Here’s a tip for the fest execs: stop handing out so many gratis tickets to corporate sponsors and fancy-pants VIPs – they’re rich, they can afford your inflated prices. Maybe then more members of your beloved public would actually be able to get in. They’ve also seriously jacked the prices for screenings at the Elgin. Used to be, a single ticket for a film there was the same as a regular screening at any other venue ($20); now it’s a whopping $37.50! For ONE ticket! To a non-gala! Holy crap.

But this year also marks a marvelous Moviepie first at TIFF: two ‘Pie pals in attendance! Much to my delight, Moviepie’s Eric will be jetting to Toronto for several days of screenings, star sightings and crap consumption. If you’re lucky, he may even blog about his experiences, making for a fascinating juxtaposition between the fest through the eyes of a 17-year veteran (moi) and a brand-spanking newbie.

As with every other year, the diary will include capsule film reviews and ratings, celebrity sightings, random observations about my personal fest misadventures and a daily dose of Line Buzz™ to let you know what my linemates are loving and hating. I’ve decided to drop the “Crappiest Crap I Consumed Today” feature for two reasons: 1) it’s pointlessly redundant since much of the crap is repeated from day to day, and 2) another blogger decided to lift it and use it on his fest blog last year, so it feels a tad unoriginal now. Instead, I’d like to offer you a random factoid per day – something about a celeb or a movie or Toronto or me or whatever. The key to the random factoid will be its inherent randomness. Roger Ebert Sightings will unfortunately also be stricken from the reporting because he won’t be attending. I am bowing my head in reverence as I type this.

And, in an effort to better equip festgoers, the next-day weather forecast for Toronto will cap off each entry, so that you know whether to bring an umbrella or a bottle of sunscreen to your screenings.

Any other fest-related questions? Head on over to the official TIFF 2007 website for all the info on tickets, screenings, venues and merch.

Ready to fest? Me too...let’s go!

See you in line,



Linda said...

WHOAH! $37.50 for ONE ticket? Convert that to US dollars and you get approximately... $37.50 for ONE ticket!!! ;)

Since Eric is a brand-spankin' TIFF newbie, I assume that means that you'll get to play Spank the Newbie? Don't worry, he likes it. ;)

Paul said...

Does this mean that I cannot get a visa screening room ticket with my 3 10 ticket passes? That totally blows. When did they announce this? This is the single stupidest thing they've done in changing the festival as now, one of my favourite parts of the festival, and where I see the majority of films I see I cannot attend?

Vickie said...

Paul, as far as I know you *can* still use coupons to buy Elgin tickets. The $37.50 per ticket price was for those people who wanted to buy single tickets in advance of the general, it's like TIFF is saying, "Okay, you can have your Elgin ticket early, and be guaranteed a seat, but you're gonna have to pay through the nose for it. If you'd rather spend less, you can take a chance and wait to use your coupons later on."

*I'm* wondering, though, what this means for the Elgin screenings that, per the fest's website's ordering page, no longer have tickets available (basically, all the Elgin screenings on the first weekend). Does this mean that those screenings are totally sold out? In which case, how are they planning on letting all the pass/coupon holders know that they shouldn't submit orders for tickets to those films? Not everyone is aware of this new Elgin policy.

And, if they're not totally sold out, does that mean that there was a block of tickets reserved for advance sales, and a block for "regular" sales starting after the lottery?

It's all rather confusing, and the fest's logic -- that the Elgin screenings were long "undervalued" -- is lame.

So, fingers crossed, we should still be able to see films at the Elgin. I guess we'll find out in the next few days.

Linda, LOL to Spank the Newbie. I have no doubt it would hurt me more than it would him. ;-)

Paul said...

From TIFF Customer Service:

Hi - just to clarify - pass, day pass and 10-film ticket package holders can choose films for all regular priced screenings and for the Visa Screening Room presentations. There will still be plenty of inventory for these films - we only sold a limited number of tickets on Saturday. I hope that helps

So that makes me happy. I don't mind so much if a few people pay 37.50 for advanced tickets if the majority of seats are usable from packages. If they're not willing to wait, that's fine by me :)

PS. I'm "The Voice" from previous years visiting this Blog.

Vickie said...

Well, welcome back under your new identity. ;-)

And a big PHEW! to the Elgin news. Thanks for posting that.

Matt said...

No need to bow -- Roger Ebert says he is attending. (Plus, he looks forward to meeting Guy Maddin -- too bad he didn't make it to Luminato!)

Linda said...

Yay, Ebert! :)

Shannon the Movie Moxie said...

Another year, another festival!

That is really good news about the Elgin tix, although I think I only ended up picking one selection. It's so beautiful - I saw Brand Upon the Brain! there earlier this year. Guy Maddin rocks!

Paul said...

My picks are done! My first year taking a week off from work for the festival, and 60 movies (first and second choices) picked, including a pairing for my mom, and 5 pairings for my girlfriend. Whew, that was tough.

Vickie said...

Okay, am I on crack? I can't find Ebert saying he's coming to Toronto anywhere on his website.

the liberal samurai said...

Hey, I am so jealous. I am coming in from the states and my out of towners package is stuck in customs :( This is my 7th fest so hopefully the fest will take care of me!

Vickie said...

You're not alone, samurai.

Moviepie Eric is, as I type this, cursing TIFF. His package has not yet arrived, of, what is it now?, 9:15pm PT. This will be his first time coming to town for the festival, and I fear his first impression is less-than-favorable.

Paul said...

Box 33, is a lucky number for me I hope!

Ali said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ali said...

Grrr... I wish I had known that TIFF programmers were saving seats for pass/coupon booklet holders (re: screenings at the Elgin) before handing in my envelope for the advance draw. So much confusion this year, with mixed messages galore.

Completely agree with you on the elimination of the 30-coupon booklet this year. I've relied on this option for the past three years and was extremely upset to see it go (I had to settle for 2 10-coupon booklets instead - couldn't afford a third.)

Maria said...

If you have any news on parties that allow peons in (:)), celebrity store appearances, would you be able to post here? I heard Sienna Miller is debuting her new clothing line at Hold Renfrow during the festival.

Anonymous said...

i find the advance ticket ordering to be so f**king ridiculous! It's so pathetic.

Paul said...

Box 66 was drawn apparently!

Paul said...

out of 75 boxes!

Vickie said...

Yep, 66 out of 75. I was in box 5, so I'm feeling good about my chances. I'm sure there will *still* be a title or two to which I won't get a ticket, but being in the 14th box processed is the best I have EVER done in the lottery.

maria, if I hear of anything, I will definitely be posting it here. Most (if not all) of the parties are invitation-only, though...but you never know -- celebs have been known to have impromptu gatherings at many of the restaurants and watering holes around Yorkville, so keep your eyes peeled. (The Starbucks behind the Four Seasons, and the one at Cumberland/Bay are also good star-spotting spots.)

And thanks to everyone for posting! We at the 'Pie love talking about movies (and film festivals) with new visitors!

Vickie said...


I just got my order-processing confirmation email from the TIFF box office and, for the FIRST TIME EVER, I got ALL of my picks! Every last one of them!

For the first time in at LEAST a decade, I don't have to pick new films!

I'm still going to head to the box office on Monday morning to pick up my stuff and make SURE that I get the correct tickets, but wow. Just wow.

Ali said...

Congrats, Vickie! I was in box #2 and got all my first choices as well - this has only happened to me once before, back in 2004. My worst experience was last year, when I got shut out of half my selections.

No more standing in horrible rush lineups, hoping for the best!

Maria said...

Wow, okay, how do you guys know what boxes your picks were in? I'm one of the advance ticket order people, meaning I have to go through the hassle of getting the out of town package picked for me and then sending it back to TO, and I have no idea what box I was put in.

Hopefully I ended up in a decent box...haha. I got all my movie picks in 2003 and 2004 but in 2005, I missed a couple and last year was the worst!

The thing that makes me feel better this year is I'm going to all the gala and have three Visa movies locked if I don't get all my choices, I guess I'll be okay..we'll see.

Vickie said...

Hmmm, I don't know how it works for the out-of-town orders, Maria, but you can always call the box office to check. Those of us in town find out our box number when we go to the box office to drop off our orders -- the boxes are right there, with a HUGE number printed on the front, so you see them put your order into a box.

Good luck! And congrats, Ali!

Maria said...

Thanks Vicki..I was wondering how so many people knew their box number haha. I may try to call the box office this weekend. If nothing, I guess I'll have to wait for Monday when the final info. comes out.

Congrats on getting all your picks. Will you be listing out the movies you received?

Vickie said...

No, I like to keep that to myself and reveal them as the fest goes on. ;-) Besides, with 35 films on deck, it would be a long list.