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Unleash Your Inner Child

Waiting by the red carpet for the stars to show up is kind of like being a kid at Christmas time. The feelings of excitement and anticipation are the same, except instead of Santa Claus it’s Benedict Cumberbatch or Salma Hayek you’re hoping to see.

Only a handful of films that screen at TIFF are given the full red carpet treatment. This year, TIFF has announced 15 of these special Gala Presentations, most of which will be taking place at Roy Thomson Hall.

Keep in mind that if you want to actually attend the gala screening, you likely won’t be able to hang around the red carpet long enough to see the stars arrive. Luckily, most TIFF films have multiple screenings throughout the festival so you can always attend a non-gala screening at a later date if you want to experience both the red carpet and the movie.

Reach for the Stars

TIFF always attracts an abundance of A-listers, and this year will be no exception. You can get some idea of which celebrities will be showing up to which galas based on who’s starring in them – although part of the excitement of attending TIFF galas is that you never know exactly who you will see until you get there!

Here is a by-no-means-complete list of celebrities appearing in this year’s films:

Christopher Plummer, Maggie Smith, Helen Mirren, Johnny Depp, Julianne Moore, Matt Damon, Salma Hayek, Steve Carell, Ellen Page, Kiefer Sutherland, Donald Sutherland, Nicole Kidman, Jason Bateman, Rachel Weisz, Colin Farrell, John C. Reilly, Ethan Hawke, Emily Blunt, Josh Brolin, Benicio Del Toro, Jake Gyllenhaal, Kate Winslet, Michael Moore, Jean Dujardin, Rachel McAdams, Michael Keaton, Sarah Silverman, Ridley Scott, Benedict Cumberbatch, Chow Yun-Fat, Sylvie Chang, Dakota Johnson, Emma Watson, Eddie Redmayne, Daniel Brühl, Geoffrey Rush, Liam Hemsworth, Gael García Bernal, Charlie Kaufman, Judy Davis, Adrien Brody, Jeremy Irons, Kevin Bacon, Tom Hardy, Michael Shannon, Dev Patel, Mathieu Amalric, Bryan Cranston.

Once you’ve decided which galas you want to lurk, show up early to get a good spot in front of the red carpet. Then get ready to gawk and gaze as the limos roll in.

Pro TIFF Tips

  • Arrive at least two or three hours before the movie’s start time. The major galas always attract large crowds of people hoping to get a picture or an autograph of the stars. If you want any hope of a clear view, you have to get there really early to stake out your spot.
  • Bring a camera. In today’s age of smartphones, you probably have one on you at all times. Just make sure it’s charged. You don’t want to miss the opportunity to snap a selfie in front of Hollywood royalty.
  • Wear something nice. There’s no dress code to gawk at celebrities, but keep in mind that there will be media there and you might end up on camera. Do you really want to be immortalized on film wearing an oversized T-shirt while standing behind Julianne Moore? Besides, dressing up will make you feel more like a movie star yourself.
  • Hang around afterward. If you didn’t get a good view or autograph from your favourite celeb on the way in, you may be able to catch them on the way out. Otherwise, head to known King West celebrity hangouts like Soho House and Brassaii to try and stalk (er, spot) them at the afterparty.

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