I was tempted for a short time to change the name of this site, as the 2009 Toronto International Film Festival is scheduled to open on September 10th, the second Thursday of the month. I haven't read an official explanation for the change, though I suspect it has something to do with the Biennale in Venice, which is also running a bit later than usual, from the 2nd to the 12th.
Also coming from TIFF in 2009 is a new brand and a new website (tiff.net). The film festival site, which is scheduled to go live on July 6, will be located at tiff.net/thefestival. For more news regarding changes to the calendar and ticketing policies, download the "Awareness Brochure" (pdf) and check out Richard's two posts at TIFF Talk.
A couple bits of news that caught my eye:
- TIFF is making an effort to reduce some of the stress of ordering by giving us more time. This year the full schedule will be available online on August 20, ticket package drop off will begin on the 25th, and the deadline has been extended to the 31st, giving us 6 days instead of 3 to fill out and return our orders. I'm still not clear on how, exactly, this will affect out-of-towners, but extra time can only be a good thing, as far as I'm concerned.
- Ticket-package prices have risen but not dramatically. The new prices seemed odd -- $524.27 for Festival Package; $386.25 for Festival Package Lite -- until I got out my calculator. It looks like they did a 3% across-the-board increase for the more popular packages.
- The premium/public distinction that was introduced last year is still in effect, meaning that many pass holders will be excluded from screenings at the Elgin and Roy Thompson Hall.
- There are a couple new package options that are presumably intended to sell more tickets to locals for the premiere screenings.
- Donors at the Benefactor level ($250) and higher will again be given priority during the ticket lottery.