The Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), officially kicked off on September 4 and runs for ten days. Throughout the festival several films are screened from around the world. One of the highlights for film enthusiasts is the opportunity to see the actors, directors and producers of these films in person. Many make it to the premier and some are even available for Q&A sessions after the film screenings. For the celebrity gawkers it’s also a chance to spot some of their favourite stars making their way down the red carpet. Toronto has long been known as ‘Hollywood North’ as several movies are often filmed in the city. TIFF is one of the biggest film festivals in the world and has been known to be a great launching pad for some blockbuster and Oscar nominated films.
For the first time the city of Toronto has closed off a portion of King Street West and dubbed it “Festival Street”. Thanks to the Entertainment District and the Toronto Transit Commission, the road has been blocked off to allow patrons to enjoy the festival in a new way. Even if you choose not to watch any films there are plenty of things to do. The Festival Street Piano stationed just opposite Roy Thomson Hall attracted small crowds throughout the day. With a mix of both scheduled and random impromptu performances, everyone was enjoying the piano which is a work of art itself. It’s been colourfully decorated by Toronto artist Jonathan Petersen.
Over the weekend I worked as a Freelance Host/Correspondent for FevaTV on the red carpet. I had the chance to interview some of the actors from the new Chris Rock film, Top Five. Some of the stars from the movie who were present included Director/Writer Chris Rock himself, Rosario Dawson, Cedric the Entertainer, Leslie Jones and Michael Che. Other notables who were on hand to support the film included Comedian Russell Peters, who I had a chance to chat with briefly before he went into the theatre. Canadian R&B singer Jully Black, actor Hill Harper and many more made appearances. Working the red carpet can be fun yet also challenging as the actors have limited time with each person to speak. Sometimes it gets so busy opportunities are missed. If you’re in Canada you can catch the highlights on FevaTV through Rogers Cable services. Check your local provider for channel details.