The New York Times Confirms What We Already Know: Toronto is TIFF’s Biggest Star

Finally, Toronto is on the map in a major way.

Not only are our food and art scenes booming, festivals like the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) have put the city in the spotlight almost as much as the stars that hit its streets.

Even the New York Times has taken notice.

In a recent article entitled “Why Toronto Matters,” Cara Buckely outlines five good (and very true) reasons why the world should start to pay attention to our city. TIFF has done big things when it comes to putting Toronto on the global map, as it remains one of the largest and most coveted festivals in the world.

The first reason Buckley outlines is the timing of the festival. A TIFF Gala Presentation is often a precursor to an Academy Award or Golden Globe nomination come awards season. As the New York Times article points out, “fall is when studios generally introduce the films they plan to build Oscar campaigns around.” TIFF offers a global platform for these films.

Secondly, Buckley highlights the strong media presence, pointing out that, last year, the festival doled out some 1,200 media credentials. The festival’s star-packed red carpets and press junkets are can’t-miss for some of the world’s top entertainment media. Neither are the parties.

The article also points out the benefits of the city’s location: “For East Coasters and Europeans alike, this Canadian city is an ideal destination. It helps that everyone speaks English, and the festival’s thousands of volunteers are as friendly and helpful as can be, happily ushering film lovers through the city’s squeaky-clean streets,” writes Buckley. Always nice to be noticed, Cara.

Buckley next cites the business aspect of TIFF – the films for sale. “For filmmakers, the festival serves as a world marketplace in which to sell their wares. Nearly 400 titles screened there last year,” says Buckely. She says that, among the 2014 deals, was Sony Pictures Classics’ acquisition of Still Alice. As you’ll recall, its lead actress Julianne Moore, went on to win an Oscar for her performance in it.

Of course, then there’s the whole star wattage factor. Buckley highlights the famous faces that graced the city last year, which included Al Pacino, Dustin Hoffman, Reese Witherspoon, Naomi Watts, Mark Ruffalo, Robert Pattinson, and John Cusack. Of course, this year’s been equally star-packed, with famous names like George Clooney, Johnny Depp, Naomi Watts, Helen Mirren, and Drew Barrymore making appearances (just to name a few). Once in town, some of Hollywood’s finest are exposed to the city in all its greatness – from our award-winning restaurants to top-tier hotels.

Naturally, they return home to Hollywood with nothing but fond memories of the city and its inhabitants.

And really, why wouldn’t they?