TIFF 2019 Ultimate Stargazing Guide
Festival fever is a thing.
The 44th annual Toronto International Film Festival, running September 5–15, 2019, hasn’t technically begun, but there’s already an exciting electricity running through the downtown core.
Whether you’re interested in Canadian flicks (Nicole Dorsey’s Black Conflux, set in 1987 Newfoundland, is already garnering serious buzz; Atom Egoyan’s drama Guest of Honour, centers on a public health inspector), surefire blockbusters (Todd Phillips’ Joker, The Capote Tapes, Bruce Springsteen doc Western Stars), or seeing stars up close (“In Conversation With…” Series - Michael B. Jordan and Jamie Foxx, Allison Janney, Kerry Washington), this year’s fest is chockablock with heavy hitters.
And not just films either. An eight-page release of this year’s expected guests contains a dizzying list of close to 2,000 celebrities that will soon be descending upon Hollywood North, including: Riz Ahmed, Alfre Woodward, Eddie Redmayne, Leslie Odom Jr., Anthony Mackie, Constance Wu, Abel “The Weeknd” Tesfaye, Meryl Streep (receiving this year’s first ‘Tribute Actor’ Award), Wendell Pierce, Dakota Johnson (and Dad Don!), Neve Campbell, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Sarah Paulson, Lucas Hedges, Priyanka Chopra Jonas, Eddie Murphy, Scarlett Johansson, Sharon Horgan, Tom Hanks, Michael B. Jordan, Beanie Feldstein, Anthony Hopkins, Brie Larson, Deborah Mailman, Chris Evans, Gael García Bernal, Kathryn Hahn, Sterling K. Brown, Nicholas Cage, and Jon Hamm.
And that’s just for starters.
So if you want to catch a glimpse of your favourite star, here’s where to spot ‘em:
An A-lister’s lodging does double duty - the close proximity of the hotel’s restaurant and bar means they don’t have to venture outside again after a long day of red carpets and press junkets.
Yorkville’s Four Seasons Toronto and Hazelton Hotel along with their respective restaurants, Café Boulud and One Restaurant, are notorious for sightings, as are downtown’s The Ritz-Carlton Shangri-La, Fairmont Royal York, and Bisha Hotel.
Le Germain Hotel Toronto Mercer steps into the spotlight this year, thanks to AT&T ON LOCATION hosting the Variety Studio presented by AT&T, a long-standing portrait and video studio for A-list actors. Guests to include Meryl Streep, Jessica Biel, Dakota Johnson, Eddie Redmayne, Felicity Jones, Tom Hanks, Robert Pattinson, Jennifer Lopez, Renée Zellweger, Shia LaBeouf, and Antonio Banderas. AT&T ON LOCATION will also host cocktail parties, cast dinners, in addition to “a lounge for celebs and tastemakers,” with high-speed Wi-Fi, natch.
And while Montecito’s located within steps of TIFF Bell Lightbox, it’s not vicinity alone that makes this farm-to-table resto so alluring for the glitterati. Director Ivan Reitman is a co-owner and there’s a built-in secret entrance so that stars can enter on the DL.
“Barista Brian” (real name: Brian Leonard) has become known on the circuit for capturing the likenesses of stars such as Elizabeth Olsen, Matthew McConaughey, Kate Beckinsale, Jamie Bell, Jonah Hill, and Timothée Chalamet in colourful lattes. He’s back at it again this year with Deadline Hollywood at Calii Love.
You’re going to have to be on the list to make it into these exclusive fêtes:
MARBL Restaurant sets the scene for Nordstrom Supper Suite VIP Pop-Up during opening weekend. Events include: red carpet premiere parties, The Creative Coalition's Annual Spotlight Initiative Awards Dinner Gala, and free beauty and personal stylists for TIFF attendees.
Canadian independent film distributor Mongrel Media’s 5th Annual Mongrel House takes over Toronto’s historic Campbell House Museum September 5th-8th to celebrate 25 years in the biz, and the premiere of nine of their films in this year’s fest.
NKPR’s president Natasha Koifman is bringing back IT House x Producers Ball, a collab with Drew and Jonathan Scott, hosts of HGTV's Property Brothers, and executive producers and founders of Scott Brothers Entertainment. This year, it’s stationed in the historic The Purman Building on Adelaide West, with renowned photographer Leeor Wild capturing the action at Rolling Stone’s celebrity portrait studio. Other events include: the Producers Ball Gala on Friday September 6th, and the 11th Annual Artists For Peace And Justice Festival Gala on Saturday September 7th.