Friday, October 27, 2023

Enjoy the Toronto International Film Festival even if you can't secure tickets!

 In preparation for next year, here are some tips on how to enjoy the fan zone without buying tickets at the Toronto International Film Festival. If you can't buy a ticket, you might also have a chance to meet celebrities!

① Four Theaters

At the International Film Festival, movies are primarily screened in five theaters:

1. Roy Thomson Hall (RTH)

2. Princess of Wales Theatre (POW)

3. Royal Alexandra Theatre (RA)

4. Toronto Bell Lightbox (TBLB)

5. Scotiabank Theatre (SCOTIA)

The fan zone is set up across the street from theaters 1 to 3. The abbreviations in parentheses are the official schedule abbreviations listed on the festival's website.

(In front of the Princess of Wales Theatre,
inside the silver fence at the very front of the fan zone)

② Controlled by Wristbands

To enter the fan zone, you'll need wristbands. Wristbands for the premium screenings of the day are distributed in front of RTH from 9 to 10 AM. You can request wristbands for specific movies or simply ask for all of them. 

(Note: Premium screenings are movies being premiered for the first time at the festival, typically attended by directors and lead actors for promotional purposes.)

(A bundle of wristbands)

③Fan Zone Entry 2 Hours Before the Movie

If you have a wristband, you can enter the fan zone 2 hours before the screening at each theater. If you want autographs and interactions, be sure to get to the very front. There will be lines to enter, so arrive about 3 hours in advance.

④ If You Couldn't Get Wristbands in the Morning

If you couldn't wake up early or had work preventing you from getting wristbands in the morning, there's still a chance! Arrive 1 hour before the screening at the fan zone, and if there's space available, you can enter.

⑤Celebrities Start Arriving About 40 Minutes Before

As the time gets closer, the street is blocked off, and limousines arrive. When celebrities arrive, call out to them enthusiastically. Celebrities often come to the opposite side of the street to interact with fans, but the fan zone is quite long. It depends on the celebrity where they choose to interact, so try to get their attention. Sometimes, you may only get an autograph or a selfie, so decide your priority in advance. Having a notebook and pen ready for autographs is also a good idea.

Unfortunately, I can't share photos of the actors and actresses online, so I share the picture of the autograph I really wanted, which was from Viggo Mortensen. (Viggo Mortensen is best known for his role as Aragorn in "The Lord of the Rings." He's already 60 years old, but he's still fantastic. I became a fan in junior high school, and I never thought I'd get to see him in person!)

Other celebrities I got autographs from:

- Patricia Arquette

- Camilla Morrone

- Willem Dafoe

- Lee Byung-hun

- Park Seo-joon

- Park Ji-hu

- Finn Wolfhard

This year, the Toronto International Film Festival took place during a strike by the Screen Actors Guild in Hollywood, which meant there weren't as many celebrities attending as usual. The list of celebrities usually attending in early September wasn't released this time, and the festival didn't seem as lively as in previous years. As a result, there were many available spots in the fan zone, even at the last minute. We hope for a more exciting festival next year.

There might be changes in the wristband distribution methods and timing for next year, but I hope you find this information useful!

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