What you'll need to survive the festival
The festival is finally upon us. By now you’ve got your advance tickets. The highs and lows of the TIFF lottery system are behind you.
Elation if you got your picks. Disappointment if you got many of your first choices and a few of your second choices.
Despair if you only got a few first choices and have had to line up with exchange vouchers to make new picks.
Or you might be like me — who for the first time ever got all my picks (oh yeah!) — and then decided to line up for more tickets anyway.
Why, you ask? Well, there were a couple more movies I had wanted to see and thought I’d try lining up Sunday morning. After a 45-minute wait I struck gold, acing two more tickets.
So beginning Thursday, I will see a whirlwind of movies, hailing from South Africa, the U.K., Belgium, Portugal, France, Germany, Israel and Brazil. I can’t wait to begin my cinematic adventure, and hope you’re as happy with your results.
But before the voyage begins, you’ll need some essential supplies if you’re going to survive movie-watching — and the lineups — at TIFF over the next 11 days.
Some, like me, swear by a good pair of shoes and a smartphone — to contact the people you’re trying to meet up with, and in my case to post comments to the TIFF blog at Toronto.com — and even snap the odd celebrity. Others insist the critical must-haves are sunglasses, an umbrella and a book.
But, be it prosaic or esoteric, everyone has something they can’t live without. Here, in no particular order, is a list of items TIFF goers have told the Star they would be lost without as they wander from screening to screening.
• Cathy Clark, who has battled and stood in more TIFF linesups than she cares to remember: “Water, nuts and raisins.”
• David Kinahan, who has been attending the festival for 20 years: “Smarties. Popcorn is too noisy, and Smarties consumption can better fit the rhythm of any given film — as the jingle goes, you can ‘suck them very slowly or crunch them very fast.’”
• Javier Nunez, a first-time TIFF-goer: “A map of the city and a cup of coffee.”
• Louise Malhotra, 15 years: “I always take my cell phone. I can always call my husband and tell him where I am. Or if meeting friends, I can call them and reach them. Also I do like to celebrity spot and so it’s good to have a cell to call your friends and tell them who you saw and also take a quick picture if possible.”
• Dell Wolfson, seven years. She carries everything in a well-stocked purse. “An umbrella, my cell phone and I take a book to read and my schedule. But I’ve discovered while I’m in line there are all these discussions going on around me about movies and inevitably I get involved in those.”
• Joan Gilroy, nine years: “Enthusiasm, an open mind and of course several pairs of smart but relatively comfortable shoes.”
• Gail MacDonald, 11 years: “My Kindle. I can’t live without it. I have over 100 books on here and I take it everywhere I go and when I’m standing in line waiting to see a movie I just pull it out and read it and I’m happy.”
• Jeff Perry, six years: “A lot of water. I pack a book, my iPod. But I find I don’t really need them ’cause there are so many friendly people in line. A lot of times you don’t end up reading your book; you just end up talking about movies. I think you need to be open and be ready to talk about movies with anybody ’cause there are a lot of people here who know a lot about movies.”
• Louise Shogilev, three years: “A watch — because you’re always juggling time and rushing from one thing to another.”
• Mary Mickel, five or six years: “A good friend to talk to.”
• Tom Varesh, six years: “Patience and good company.”
• Patricia Missios, first time at TIFF: “A decent attitude. There are lineups here (at the box office); there will be lineups there (at the cinemas). And basically you better have 24 hours in which to go to the movies.”
• Betty Prigoda, about nine years: “A shawl, because it sometimes gets very cold in the theatre. You don’t want a sweater. You just want something you can drape over your legs or over your arms or whatever.”