It's that time of year again, festival season is in full swing! Fresh off the boat from the Venice Film Festival, the next stop in the festival circuit for Hollywood’s elite is the Toronto International Film Festival.
This year the roster is jam-packed with an impressive group of A-list celebrities who will flock to Toronto to premiere their films (and hopefully generate some Oscar buzz as we head into awards show season). Jake Gyllenhaal’s film Demolition will premiere opening night on Sept. 10, and celebrities such as Sandra Bullock, Nicole Kidman, and Matt Damon, just to name a few, are set to walk their own TIFF red carpets.
Naturally, the celebration will continue with a variety of parties at some of Toronto’s tres-chic local eateries and landmark venues. Us Weekly has the scoop on all of TIFF’s hottest parties, glamorous events, and daytime activities.
Festival Nightlife and Local Hot Spots
Bungalow 8 Pop-Up
Probably the most popular late-night party at film festivals around the world (and notorious for having the best dance parties), the Bungalow 8 pop-up is taking over the Rooftop Lounge at the Thompson Toronto on Sept. 12-13. Bungalow 8 will open its doors at 11p.m. and the party will continue on into the wee hours of the morning. Celebrities who’ve been spotted at Bungalow 8 in years past include Chris Evans and Sam Worthington.
Mongrel Media’s “Mongrel House”
Making its TIFF debut, Mongrel Media’s “Mongrel House” is setting up shop at the Campbell House Museum and will host a series of events and cast parties the first week of the festival. “Mongrel House” kicks off with an Opening Night Party on Sept. 10 and features live music and DJ sets, a biergarten, artisanal bites, and a L’OREAL Paris makeup studio. Rachel Weiz, Rachel McAdams, James Franco, and Saoirse Ronin are just a few celebrities who are expected to celebrate their film premieres at Mongrel House.
This local restaurant will host various premiere parties and high-profile gatherings where guests will dine on delicious seasonal bites from master chef Jonathan Waxman and toast to their films with Montecito’s craft cocktails. Celebrities who’ve been spotted at Montecito in the past include Robert Downey Jr., Jennifer Garner, and Robert Pattinson.
Cibo Wine Bar
The Cibo Wine Bar will undoubtedly draw many A-list celebrities throughout the festival. Centrally located in the heart of all the TIFF action, Cibo will host a bevy of industry events and premiere after-parties. Celebrities who’ve attended parties at Cibo in years past include Matthew McConaughey, Jared Leto, and Tom Hardy.
Located in perhaps one of trendiest hot spots in Toronto’s hip King West neighborhood, festivalgoers and celebrities will flock to this luxurious restaurant, which offers an Indo-Chinese cuisine and signature Spice Route tea cocktails. Brad Pitt, Edward Norton, and Mark Ruffalo have been spotted at Spice Route in past years.
Celebrities such as Naomi Watts, Elle Fanning, and Susan Sarandon will celebrate the premiere of their film About Ray at this authentic Spanish Tapas-style trattoria. Various other premiere parties and festival related events will take place at Patria throughout the festival as well.
The most notoriously exclusive events take place at Soho House at festival time, and this year is no different. The bougie members-only club will hold cast parties for Drew Barrymore’s film Wish You Were Here, along with Susan Sarandon’s The Meddler cast party. Rachel McAdams, Mark Ruffalo, and Michael Keaton are also hosting a Toast to “Spotlight” as well.
Sony Pictures Classics Dinner
Sony Pictures Classics is hosting an intimate dinner to celebrate the studio’s six films premiering at TIFF on Sept. 12, at Creme Brasserie. Elisabeth Moss, Tom Hiddleston, and Elizabeth Olsen are slated to attend this years exclusive dinner celebration.
Hugo Boss “The Man Who Shot Hollywood” Exhibit
Hugo Boss is presenting a cocktail party featuring “The Man Who Shot Hollywood’ exhibit, which will display behind-the-scenes photographs of some of the world’s most famous and glamorous movie stars. The exhibit is open from 2p.m. to 4p.m. on Sept. 12 in the Vinci Room at the Four Season’s Toronto.
Nikki Beach at The Spoke Club
The Nikki Beach pop-up lounge is back at TIFF for the seventh consecutive year and is setting up shop on The Spoke Club’s rooftop and 4th floor gallery. The luxury lounge takes place Sept. 10-13 and is slated to host press junkets, private screenings, cocktail parties, and dinners throughout the weekend.
NKPR IT Lounge and Portrait Studio
Photographer Caitlin Cronenberg and W Magazine are teaming up for the NKPR IT Lounge and Portrait Studio where celebrities such as Jake Gyllenhaal, Naomi Watts, and Eddie Redmayne are expected to pass through. Cronenberg’s celebrity portraits from the festival will support the Artists for Peace and Justice organization.
Located inside the Maison Mercer nightclub (right next to the always-buzzing Bell Lightbox Theatre), London House will host a variety of panels, Q&As, and premiere parties for official TIFF selections. Celebrities such as Kristen Stewart, Elizabeth Olsen, and JK Simmons, are expected to stop by TheWrap.com’s photo and interview suite at London House as well.
For those who need their shopping fix in between screenings and festival events, make sure to pop into ARCHIVES at the Four Season’s Toronto to find some luxurious jewelry and accessories. ARCHIVES offers a variety of high-end items made by designers that celebrities such as Beyonce, Margot Robbie, and Amal Clooney have been known to love. Designers include Delfina Delettrez, Fernando Jorge, and Les Petits Joueurs.
Fancy Festival Soirees
The festival kicks off with the annual AMBI Gala benefitting the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation on Sept. 9 at the Four Season’s Toronto. Martin Short will host the evening, which features a special performance by the legendary Diana Ross. Honorary co-chairs Heidi Klum and James Franco will attend the gala alongside Anjelica Huston, Mischa Barton, Michael Madsen, plus many more.
Artists for Peace and Justice (AJP) Gala
The annual AJP gala is taking place on Sept. 13 to raise awareness for Paul Haggis’ Artists for Peace and Justice charity organization, which supports youth education, health, and dignity initiatives in Haiti. This years co-hosts include Jane Fonda and Helen Mirren, who will join Haggis in honoring AJP Advisory Board Member Susan Sarandon for her support of the organizations work in Haiti.
Producer’s Ball Presented by ScotiaBank
Drew and Jonathan Scott of The Property Brothers will host the fifth annual Producer’s Ball at the Royal Ontario Museum on Sept. 11. The glamorous event spotlights visionary producers in the entertainment industry. Attendees, which include Hollywood directors and surprise celebrity guests, can also support the Toronto International Film Festival by participating in the silent auction later in the evening.