Everything You Need to Know About TIFF 2023

Moviegoers are ready to embrace the 48th annual Toronto International Film Festival this week from Sept 7 to 17th. With over 200 films to choose from, attendees have planned a packed schedule to watch the latest films from their favorite actors and filmmakers. This year might look less star-studded due to the ongoing SAG-AFTRA strike, but fans will get a chance to see several Canadian and international stars walk the red carpet along with some Hollywood filmmakers. 

The Movies

Highly anticipated films will be making their world premiere or North American premiere at the fest. Some highly anticipated titles include Taika Waititi’s Next Goal Wins, Hayao Miyazaki’s The Boy and the Heron, George C. Wolfe’s Rustin, Atom Egoyan’s Seven Veils and Craig Gillespie’s Dumb Money.

Kristen Stewart poses with fans at TIFF
Photo Credit: George Pimentel via Seberg Getty Wire Image for TIFF

Tickets are on sale, and wildly enough, some are being sold on reseller sites for thousands of dollars. If you are unable to secure a ticket for a public screening, you may wait in the rush line. Around 15 minutes prior to a screening’s start time, a select amount of rush tickets are sold to those in the rush line on a first-come, first-served basis. 

Oscar nominee Ava DuVernay will be bringing her new film Origin, which will have a Gala screening at Roy Thomson Hall on September 11th. DuVernay will be in attendance. 

The Awards

TIFF will be handing out seven awards at the TIFF Tribute Awards gala on September 10, at Fairmont Royal York Hotel. Colman Domingo will be receiving the TIFF Tribute Performer Award for his body of work. He will be seen in two TIFF films – Greg Kwedar’s Sing Sing and George C. Wolfe’s Rustin. He is already leading the award season race for his work in these films. 

TIFF 2023 poster

Andy Lau is being honoured with the Special Tribute Award; Carolina Markowicz with the TIFF Emerging Talent Award presented by MGM Studios; Łukasz Żal is the recipient of the TIFF Variety Artisan Award; Shawn Levy is the recipient of the Norman Jewison Career Achievement Award presented by The Budman Family; Pedro Almodóvar is being honoured with the Jeff Skoll Award in Impact Media presented by Participant; and Spike Lee is the recipient of the TIFF Ebert Director Award. 

Who’s Attending TIFF 2023?

For most of the first public screenings (and sometimes even the second), directors will be in attendance for their films. Fans can also be sure to see some of their favorite Canadians actors and directors along with several international filmmakers and talent. 

Some Hollywood stars will be attending TIFF after having signed interim agreements for their indie films. It is reported that Ethan Hawke, Nicolas Cage, Sean Penn, Dakota Johnson, Laura Linney, Maya Hawke, Viggo Mortensen, Jessica Chastain, and Finn Wolfhard will be in attendance. 

Sylvester Stallone and Andy Lau will also be in attendance as they participate in the ‘In Conversation series’ at TIFF. 

Activations and Festival Street

King Street West will transform into an open-air experience at the fest and will be accessible by the general public from Sept 7.

Volunteer takes photo of a couple posing by TIFF sign
Photo Credit: Connie Tsang Randoms

Visitors can expect new and exciting activations, including food vendors, photo-ops, and the Festival Street Music Stage that will feature musical performances throughout the opening weekend. Nickelback will take the stage to perform as they promote the premiere of their TIFF Gala Presentation Hate to Love: Nickelback. Fans will also get to see jazz legend Dave Young, Thompson Egbo-Ebgo, and the Jacob Chung Quintet, techno artist Classic Roots and Canadian rap star Michie Mee.

TIFF Next Wave Block Party

New this year, visitors can attend the TIFF Next Wave Block Party on Saturday. Featured performances include The Aubreys featuring Stranger Things star Finn Wolfhard, Grammy Award winner Zakes Bantwini, Sho Madjozi, and Alex Porat.

Festival Street Art Market

Also debuting this year is the Festival Street Art Market filled with fun activities to celebrate art and community from the city’s community film festivals and arts organizations on Simcoe Street.