TIFF SPECIAL: Three big parties, one major night

The cast of Bunraku—Josh Hartnett, Kevin McKidd, Woody Harrelson, Gackt, Ron Perlman—in the Soho House on Saturday night. Photo courtesy of Grey Goose.

Story by Emily Blake.

Every year there is one evening during TIFF when the (figurative) stars align, and the perfect party night arises. Last Saturday night was it. While during the civilian party season it is unusual to be glammed up to go out before 9 p.m., TIFF requires a slightly longer window. Which is why I was dressed up and in a taxi, checking my teeth for lipstick, at 6:45. The mission? Three parties, in three places with three raisons d’être that illuminate the variety of festivals within a festival that are happening on any given night.

First up, Hello! Hollywood, as slick and glossy as the magazine hosting it. Held at the Royal Conservatory, the party had all the markings of sophisticated society. Champagne flowing? Check. Floor to ceiling windows? Check. Society swans? Double check. The party was simmering towards a boil when I made my early exit. There is no time to loiter when the night’s festivities have only just begun.

Southbound I went to the newly renovated Civello salon on Queen, home for the evening for the cast of Julia’s Eyes and hosted by Ray Civello and FILLER Magazine. As a fan of Pan’s Labryinth I was excited to spot Guillermo del Toro, the producer of the movie being feted.

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TIFF SPECIAL: Inside the 99 Sudbury party

Story by Caitlin Agnew. Photography by Jason Jajalla.

On Wednesday night, with expectations high, I attended my first TIFF party. Not just for this year—ever. Before leaving for the Festival Opening Party at 99 Sudbury, I got my notepad and pen ready for all of the celebrity autographs I’d soon be collecting and spent a few moments rehearsing my best red carpet pose.

A little premature, perhaps. This event was actually a fête for in-the-know industry insiders looking to throw down after a hard day of preparations for the inevitable TIFF chaos to come. We anticipated, commiserated, and gossiped over much-needed wine and delicious nibblies like gnocchi poutine and chicken wing meatballs.

The evening was relaxed, sophisticated, and a good harbinger of what’s sure to be an amazing couple of weeks.

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