The first weekend of TIFF is officially over, and it is safe to assume that most of the city is moving in a slower pace than normal. It has certainly been a whirlwind five days, as we kicked the festival off early on Wednesday night with the Producer’s Ball and the Young Filmmakers Party. Here are some social highlights of the first two days from the Notable.ca team, as we opted to divide and conquer the TIFF circuit.
Wednesday, September 5
The Producer’s Ball provided an opportunity to check out the brand new Shangri La Hotel. Kicking the festival off early, the event was infused with an abundance of Canadian film and television talent, some of who shared their secrets on how they plan to sustain the entire ten-day duration of the festival. The event also drew familiar faces from Toronto’s social scene, who all have their way of securing their name on that coveted guest list.
After the Producer’s Ball, we walked over to the Young Filmmakers Party at Brant House. The Young Filmmakers Party serves as more of a traditional reunion party, where young, talented professionals in the Canadian film and television industry are guaranteed to see their peers who they have worked with on past shows or see at auditions. The event has been held at the Drake Hotel for the past few years, which was always filled with crowds and chaos as partygoers vied for a place on the upper patio and bar. Inevitably there was a lineup to Brant House’s outdoor patio, but the change in venue was a welcomed one, and the dance floor remained packed throughout the evening.
Thursday, September 6
Thursday kicked off with Toronto Life’s Most Stylish Party at the Shangri La, where each guest, celebrity or not, looked like he or she had just stepped out of a best dressed page in a magazine.
Next was the Opening Night Party at Maple Leaf Square, which transformed the ACC and Real Sports Bar into a sprawling affair. The event is traditionally held at Liberty Grand and, although the centralized location was appreciated in terms of transportation issues, we must say that there is something that added an element of magic to Liberty Village that was lacking at the very concrete Maple Leaf Square. A bar was difficult to find at the location, but the food was as great as usual and it was cool to see Real Sports transformed from its typical sports bar setting. Check out the boldfaced names that graced the red carpet highlights here.
Next was the On the Road after party in the not-yet-opened Spanish resto Patria, another sure-to-be hot spot from Hanif Harji and Charles Khabouth. Kirsten Dunst looked fresh and flawless as she casually strolled in, holding the hand of a fellow gentleman, before making her way to the upper VIP level.
We ventured to Nikki Beach at the Spoke Club after that, which was packed and bustling on the balmy evening, filled with regulars on Toronto’s party scene and film industry professionals alike. When we left around 3:30am, the booze was still flowing, the patio was jam-packed and partygoers were still arriving.
Second photo by Arthur Mola/TOROMAGAZINE.COM; bottom photo courtesy Nikki Beach Toronto