5 Local Tastemakers’ Top Picks for TIFF 2017

Photography by Renata

Anjli Patel, Fashion lawyer & trademark agent

What do you love about TIFF?
“I love the complete arc of experiences that surround a film at TIFF. For example, next week when I attend the premiere of Grace Jones: Bloodlight and Bami, both Grace and director Sophie Fiennes will be present and discuss the film post-screening. I’m also hoping Grace will sign my magazine at the cocktail before the premiere or the afterparty.”

 

What film are you most looking forward to seeing?
The Square, which is a satire of the postmodern art world, and won the Palme d’Or earlier this year at Cannes. My husband and I love the art world, both for the art itself and the interesting characters it attracts, so this film is a must-see.”

Favourite TIFF hangout for late night eats and drinks?​
“Aside from Soho House, Bar Buca and Alo Bar are a short walk from the Lightbox and open past midnight. Further afield, I love Pretty Ugly in Parkdale.”

 

Suzanne Rogers, Philanthropist

Photography by George Pimentel

What do you love about TIFF?
“I love the mix of Hollywood glamour and international artistry, and applaud the festival for ensuring Canadian films and filmmakers are always front and centre. Above all else, I love the people watching, not just the red carpet glitz but also how audiences step up to the glamour and excitement.”

What film are you most looking forward to seeing?
“I’ll confess a personal bias: Alan Cumming is a dear friend and Battles of the Sexes, in which he’s co-starring with Emma Stone and Steve Carell, is debuting at TIFF, so I’m looking forward to its premiere and to sharing a pre-screening toast with him!”

Favourite TIFF hangout for late night eats and drinks?​
“There are so many terrific spots but, if summer weather prevails, two of my favourites are the DEQ Terrace & Lounge at the Ritz-Carlton and the candlelit patio adjoining the Hazelton Hotel’s ONE restaurant.”

 

Photography by Liz Rosa

Natasha Koifman, Founder and president of NKPR

What do you love about TIFF?
“I love the energy the festival brings to the city of Toronto. There’s so much buzz and excitement in the air. Whether you’re downtown in the festival hub or uptown in Bloor-Yorkville—everywhere feels electric.”

What film are you most looking forward to seeing?
“I must confess that I often don’t get to make it to the films during the festival, because we’re so busy with our activations (like the IT House x Producers Ball between Sept. 7-11 or the Artists for Peace and Justice Gala on Sept. 10, to name a few), but if I can sneak one in, it would be First They Killed My Father–I’m a huge Angelina Jolie fan, and Mother!, because there’s so much mystery around it and I love Jennifer Lawrence!”

Favourite TIFF hangout for late night eats and drinks?​
“The Spoke Club for a cup of tea followed by the Thompson Diner for an after-party treat—love their mac and cheese!”

 

Photography by Rick O’Brien

Sarah Keenlyside, Artist & co-owner of Chocolates X Brandon Olsen and La Banane 

What do you love about TIFF?
“For many years I covered TIFF as a journalist, so I got special access. I felt like a kid in a candy store – being able to see as many movies as I want for free and talk to the people that made them – it was the ultimate indulgence for a cinefile like me. Now that I actually own a candy store, I see way too few movies in the theatre so TIFF is the perfect excuse to get out and see some great films.”

What film are you most looking forward to seeing?
Alias Grace tops my list – I think Sarah Gadon is a fascinating actress and with Margaret Atwood, Sarah Polley and Mary Harron behind this movie too—can you even imagine? I’m actually worried it might be too good to be true.

I’d love to see Grace Jones: Bloodlight and Bami (the woman is beyond amazing), Darren Aronofsky’s Mother! (I love his films all the way back to Pi), Battles of the Sexes (of course), Jane (curious how Brett Morgen will approach this, he has such an inventive documentary style), Mary Shelley (I love historical dramas), and Meditation Park (I’ve never met a Mina Shum movie I didn’t love). Looking back on this list, it’s remarkable how female it is—so exciting!”

Favourite TIFF hangout for late night eats and drinks?​
“Well, it’s not exactly close to TIFF, but our restaurant La Banane tops my list (of course!). I’d go for a post movie shrimp cocktail, chicken liver mousse with braised cipollini onions and a glass of wine. But closer to the TIFF zone, I’d have to say Alo Bar would be my go to. Bartender John Bunner’s cocktails are so good! And Patrick Kriss’s bar menu is next level too.”

Photography by Michael Graydon

Gaëtane Verna, Director of The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery

What do you love about TIFF?
“TIFF is my window to a truly global film experience. I can spend hours seeing films and when it is time for TIFF, a perfect day is when I see four in a row from different parts of the globe. It truly opens my world and pushes me to have more empathy and compassion for the very troubled yet incredibly rich world in which we all live and this earth that we share.”

What film are you most looking forward to seeing?
“There are too many to look forward to! I cannot think of only one film, but here are a few: Mudbound by Dee Rees; Euphoria by Lisa Langseth; Five Fingers of Marseille by Michael Matthews; The Seen and Unseen by Kamila Andini; Prendre Le Large by Gaël Morel; The Conformist by Bing Zhi Xia; Shuttle Life by Tan Sent Kiat; and I am not a Witch by Rungano Nyoni.”

Favourite TIFF hangout for late night eats and drinks?
“Ricarda’s on Peter Street anytime before or after for amazing lunch or dinner, or for a quick drink and bite in between movies. Of course, one can always also keep it simple: LUMA at TIFF, anytime.”

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