The Toronto International Film Festival has been growing steadily for 42 years, getting its start as a celebration of curated movies from festivals around the world and evolving into one of the most important festivals in existence. In 1976, 35,000 people turned up to see the films programmers had chosen. Today, nearly half a million moviegoers come to Toronto every September—but this year, for the first time, the team behind TIFF is making a big change to the festival: they’re making it smaller. What does that mean for film fans? A better chance at running into your favourite actor. Here’s why:
This year’s festival has two fewer programs
TIFF has decided to eliminate the Vanguard and City to City programs from its roster, and while both featured a really excellent lineup of films, their casts tended to be light on Hollywood A-listers.
They’re screening fewer films overall
Following complaints (mostly from the media) that the Festival had gotten too big and unruly, TIFF announced a plan to cut the total number of films screened by 20 percent. But that doesn’t mean that there will be a smaller number of stars…
Because the big programs (and the big names that go with them) are staying
TIFF’s Gala Presentations program is as strong as ever, so expect the same number of red-carpets and the movie stars that walk them. They’re also continuing to run their In Conversation With… series. This year’s guests include Helen Mirren, Angelina Jolie, Javier Bardem, and Gael Garcia Bernal. And back for a third year is the Festival’s Primetime program, which will debut new television work starring actors like James Franco and Maggie Gyllenhaal.
There are fewer venues
You won’t have to wonder if Emma Stone and Steve Carell are up on Bloor Street for a Battle of the Sexes screening while you’re down on King. Bloor Cinema, the home of Toronto’s Hot Docs Festival, won’t be screening TIFF films this year.
Just as many stars will be visiting Toronto
Keep your selfie stick ready and your eyes peeled for: Jake Gyllenhaal, Brie Larson, Matt Damon, Penelope Cruz, Daniel Craig, Peter Dinklage, Mary J. Blige, Christian Bale, Halle Berry, Vince Carter, Greta Gerwig, Kate Winslet, Kristen Wiig, Rachel McAdams, Benedict Cumberbatch, Elle Fanning, and of course DRAKE. (For the full list of confirmed talent, go here.)
The Festival still spans ten full days
No one is messing with your celeb-spotting schedule.