Tag Archives: Toronto Film Festival

An idiot’s guide to grabbing TIFF tickets

27 Aug

The 2012 Toronto International Film Festival kicks off on 6 September, promising more than 300 screenings from at least 60 countries and attracting the biggest stars in the celluloid galaxy, including Tom Hanks, Bill Murray, Gwyneth Paltrow and er, Zac Efron.

Movie Theater TIFF

Movie Theater by Roeyahram on Flickr

I’m assuming, therefore, that you’ve sorted your ticket packages, chosen your preferred screenings and got your autograph book ready? Me neither.

However, I’m a step closer to scoring some of those prized tickets following numerous head-scratching sessions on the TIFF website and some painful conversations with the box office.

Having gained some clarity over the whole process, I thought I’d share my findings – purely in the interests of benevolence – this being an apparent motif for the festival this year (as has been widely reported, the Friends of TIFF are holding their first ever charity fundraiser this year, and is there anything more benevolent than Toronto’s elite paying $25,000 to share canapes with Halle Berry rather than just, hmm, handing the money to an actual charity or something). I digress.

Unfortunately, the ticket “packages” are all sold out, meaning if you’re an adult aged between 25 and 65 you’ll need to pay for each screening separately, costing $19.69 for a regular ticket, before tax and “service charges”. A premium ticket – for red carpet events and the like – costs $38.27.

The procedure goes:

1. Check what’s on, when, here. There’s a synopsis of each film here if you’re not sure what you’re looking for yet.

2. Refer to the TIFF website from 10am on 1 September to see whether there are available tickets for the screenings you want to see. Some may be sold out through pre-sales, which it’s too late to register for now. But, in total, only 30 per cent of screenings sell out completely, so you stand a decent chance of finding something interesting.

3. From 10am on 2 September, you can buy tickets either online (using a credit card – no debit), over the phone (416.599.8433) or at the box office.

4. If there aren’t any available tickets for the showing you had your eye on, check at 7am on the morning of the screening to see if additional tickets have been released.

5. If all the above fails, try heading to the venue of your chosen screening early to see if there are any unreleased tickets. You’ll have to stand in line; here‘s a guide to “rushlines”, as they’re known.

Other tips: There isn’t any assigned seating, so people often queue to grab the best spots.

Good luck and happy TIFF-ing!

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