The 2010 edition of the TIFF website went live this morning (it's pretty), and the first important information has been posted: Tickets and Packages.
Tickets go on sale on Monday morning, June 21, for donors, and Visa cardholders can begin making purchase on July 5. Like last year, TIFF has divided ticket-purchasing options into three basic categories, which have been rebranded:
- My Choice Packages (you choose the films)
- TIFF Choice Packages (programmers choose the films for you)
- A-la Carte tickets (September 3, 7am Single tickets on sale)
The good news: Ticket prices haven't changed! New this year, they've dropped the old "Festival" and "Festival Lite" package titles for more consistent and obviously-descriptive names.For those hoping to see as many films as possible, there are three main options: the 10-Tickets Package is $160 ($159.14 last year), the 30-Films Package is $386 ($386.25 last year), and the 50-Films Package is $524 ($524.27 last year). The Courier Film Selection Service (formerly Out-of-Town Package) is $150.
Keep in mind that you can buy more than one 10-Tickets Package. If cost is a real issue, one option is to buy one of the two Day Packages, which are good for 25 films ($202) or 15 films (new for this year at $139) that begin before 5:01 pm. (In 2006, 23 of the 34 films I saw would have qualified.) Combined with one 10-Tickets Package and some careful scheduling, the daytime packages can offer great bang for the buck.
The 10-Tickets Package remains the most flexible option, though it's less so than it used to be. You can no longer treat yourself and nine friends to a single screening. Instead, the 10-Tickets Package is now limited to 4 tickets per screening, per person and/or account. The 30-Films Package and the 50-Films Package, however, are good for only one ticket per screening.
For what it's worth, 30-34 films (or 3.5-4 per day) seems to be my comfort zone. I've tried several strategies in the past. In 2005 I used the 50-Films Package to preorder more than 40 tickets, and by Tuesday or Wednesday I was already skipping screenings to catch up on sleep and to get some sun on my skin. In 2006 I preordered tickets to the 30 films at the top of my to-see list, scheduling one or two light days midweek, and then bought a few individual tickets, based on friends' recommendations and general buzz, after I got there. Last year, when the 30-ticket package wasn't an option, I returned to the 50-Films Package and took better advantage of those extra coupons by doing a lot of schedule-shuffling. During the last four or five days of the fest, I often had tickets to two films that were playing simultaneously, made a last-minute decision, and then whenever possible sold my extra ticket at face value to someone in the rush line.
Note: This is an updated post.