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Georgina Reilly's TIFF Tip Sheet

These are a few of Georgina Reilly's favourite things -- especially come TIFF time. 1. A "TIFF Buddy," husband Mark O'Brien (Getty Images); 2. Lipsticks (L'Oreal, MAC); 3. A not-too-small clutch (H&M); 4. Little black dress (Evan Biddell); 5. Yoga jeans (Second Denim).

Most people's first TIFF experience might involve last-minute rush tickets or a furtive iPhone photo of Zac Efron. Georgina Reilly, though -- her first TIFF had "a different kind of vibe to it." In 2009, the Murdoch Mysteries star had a film in the festival, Bruce McDonald's wintery zombie flick Pontypool. Four years on, she's a vet of the scene. She'll be hitting the parties with friends this year, including her Murdoch castmates -- so long as they manage to sneak away from their north Toronto set. (The show, which returns with new episodes September 30, is still in production.)

Since she's a party pro, CBC Live asked Reilly to share her take on TIFF. Check out her answers to our questionnaire for her insider take on the festival.

Describe a Typical TIFF in 7 Words or Less.

It's kind of like a reunion.

What movie do you most want to see this year?

The F Word. There are a lot of people I know in it, like Megan Park, she's a Rising Star this year, and Tommie-Amber Pirie and Meghan Heffern. So it's cool to see them doing a movie -- doing a movie with Daniel Radcliffe -- that's set in Toronto.

What's the best TIFF party you've ever been to?

The Academy Of Canadian Cinema & Television party. I really enjoyed that last year. Obviously it's an international film festival, but that party is really about Canada -- and that's where I see most of my friends.

How would you describe your TIFF style?

Classic with a bit of a '40s vibe, makeup-wise. I try to keep it comfortable.

What are the 3 most essential items in your wardrobe come TIFF?

1. Little Black Dress
I try to wear different stuff, but a black dress -- if I find a pretty good one -- I can use it at daytime events, too. Then I can go out in the night with it by changing my jewelry or shoes. It's a good, simple canvas.

2. A Clutch That's Not Too Small
I find I like taking a lot of stuff with me, so that's essential.

3. Yoga Jeans
They're fitted really nice, but they're comfy -- they stretch a little. Jeans, like a black dress, you can dress up or down.

What 3 things do you carry with you everywhere?

1. Lipstick
I bring the one I'm wearing that night, 'cause I tend to change lipsticks a lot. There's lots of food and drinking.

2. Water
I try to anyway, though it's hard to find a bag that's big enough to carry it.

3. Gum and mints
Always! You're talking to so many people, so that's very important.

Bonus: A TIFF buddy
That would be an essential thing. Sometimes [my husband] Mark is here, it depends on his shooting schedule, and that's really great because we get to go to everything together, and if he's not then I like to find a TIFF buddy.

So many people come to TIFF to network. What's the best way to break the ice?

The great thing about TIFF is that everyone's very open to acknowledging everybody's work. If it's someone who has something in the festival, if I'm walking by I can say, 'Oh, I really loved your movie,' and talk to them that way. I find it's successful if you do it alone. They don't feel as bombarded. It's more of a one-on-one moment with them."

With 11 days of events, what's the best way to beat exhaustion?

Water. 100 per cent. There's a lot of free alcohol at these events, and that's what I try to avoid, especially at the parties and stuff because you're just going to get tired, and you really don't want to be remembered as that person at TIFF who took advantage of the open bar.

Also, knowing when it's time to leave. I don't feel worried I'm going to miss out on anything. If it's really fun and I'm having a good time I'll stay but I'm not a person who's gonna stay at the party just in case. I'm good to go.

Tell us your favourite TIFF memory.

I was at the Four Seasons in Yorkville, that's where the makeup and hair counter was just before the Pontypool premiere, and I was coming out in a town car and I was with my mom. I was coming out and there were just people lining the street, and they're just going crazy with all these cars, even though they have no idea who's in them. So I'm a bit like, 'Oh, they don't know who I am,' so I put the window down to say hi -- which is so not a good idea with that many people, and they were like 'OHMIGOD! WILL YOU SIGN THIS!' These people do not know who I am. They just figure because I'm in this car and my hair's done, I'm a star. I found that really, really crazy -- pretty wild. But it just shows you how this industry is important to people. It inspires people and I think it's always really cool to see that."

Check back to CBC Live for further festival coverage including our daily live-streamed show, CBC Live @ TIFF, which starts September 5. (More info, here.)

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