TIFF ’11 Essentials Checklist

The epic film madness that is the Toronto International Film Festival is merely three days away, kicking off with Davis Guggenheim’s From the Sky Down & the return of U2. Pretty epic way to kick off a film festival & then following up with highly anticipated movies such as Moneyball, A Dangerous Method, Ides of March, Butter, The Skin I Live In and a whole lot more. Every film festival has grown in content, size, reach and experience. It is the one time of year that being fully prepared really does bring out the full experience.

My attendance at the film festival, primarily as a fan running around in early years, has let me find out the obvious and not so obvious essentials. Some of these sound very stupid to be reminders but the amount of times people forget these, its quite sad. Now of course, if your an experienced film-fest fan, you probably don’t need to read further; nonetheless, lets start off:

1. Water (LOTS of it!) – You may think well the summer is gone and its not that hot and carrying around a bottle is fine. Think again. Toronto is a huge city and with venues across the city, parties both downtown and midtown, activities in between, you really need to keep hydrated! You will lose track of how much time goes by when your having fun and being able to keep up is always a cool thing.

2. An Umbrella – Yes, this sounds like ones of those “I can just make sure its raining and then go out” sort of requirements; but this is Toronto. The weather is unpredictable, and if you have not experienced already (this past weekend – cRaZy RaIn!), when unplanned weather hits, your day really does go south.

3. A Map & TIFF Program Booklet  – Countless times, people think they can find something in the city because they have “been there” – sure, if your that aware, thats awesome! However, if you have not trekked in certain parts of town, it is important to carry a TTC map to know transit ways, a city map if you plan on walking around & definitely a TIFF program booklet to know where events and film screenings are. All this can be available on your mobile phone & smartphone via internet & Apps as well, if you feel you need to be techy.

4. Autograph Book & Pen – If your a fan hoping to meet your favourite star, this is plain obvious. However, if your in town to get a bit of the experience, see a few films and attend the nightlife, carrying an autograph book & pen is a neat little accessory because with hundreds of guests in attendance & your local celebrities running around as well, you never know who you will bump into!

5. Camera – Same concept as the autograph book  & pen. If autographs are not your thing, it be nice to get a picture with someone to show that you have met them! (guys, nice conversation starter for the ladies! =D  jks – it can go both ways =P)

6. A sweater/jacket – Its hard to say this, but yes, summer is over. With that, comes cold windy breezes and chilly evenings. If you plan on being out late, definitely bring a jacket of sorts or sweater. This is particularly important to the late night party people because this city does get cold at night!

7. A means to get back home from late night partying – Bring tokens, schedule a ride, or crash at a friends place downtown. Don’t drink & drive and definitely travel safe. Ensure that you have plans made in advance. We all love to party but we all wanna be safe and enjoy the experience. Kind of obvious, but with the speed that TIFF will come and go, planning can be a pain. However, thats what makes it all worth it. Trust!

8. Don’t forget the obvious – now you will probably laugh when I say this but it happens so often, its not even funny anymore. Don’t forget essentials like your cell phone, watch, tickets (duh!) & money (seriously…it has happened). Make a checklist for yourself if your heading out early & plan to come back late. Nothing sucks more than having your cell phone die early evening, you run of money, or you arrive at the festival first in line (maybe first dibs on a seat!) and you forgot your tickets.

Theres a hell of lot more that I could type but the above is probably what you need to be ready for the full experience of TIFF ‘ 11. If you got any suggestions, do leave a comment and I can update. Being prepared is important step number 1 when it comes to the Film Festival. Its like an exam, if your prepared, you ace it and have fun. If your not, well…you know where I am going with this. Hope all of have fun prepping & my next post will come soon when the festival starts!

Let the madness begin!