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Natasha Koifman's TIFF Tip Sheet

For NKPR president Natasha Koifman, TIFF wouldn't be complete without the following essential items: 1. George Clooney; 2. Statement heels (Saint Laurent); 3. "Eye essentials" (AVON, Kiehl's, Tweezerman); 4. A day-to-night bag (Mulberry Willow Bag); 5. Easy and basic "festival-wear" (Vince cropped leathers). 

Sept. 5 - 13, CBC Live @ TIFF will be the place to talk about festival happenings. (Watch the show daily at 12:30 p.m., in person at the CBC Toronto Broadcast Centre or livestreamed on CBC Live.) Discussions, which will feature festival stars and CBC personalities, will give you a 360-degree look at the festival. And in our "TIFF Tip Sheet" series, we're talking to people who experience the festival from all sorts of angles. Yesterday, we heard from actress Georgina Reilly. Today, our expert's a publicist, Natasha Koifman.

You could go go through the entirety of TIFF without ever surfacing from the screening rooms, but there's another side of the festival -- one that involves parties and gift lounges, red carpets and charity galas.

Natasha Koifman, founder and president of communications agency NKPR, is the mind behind so many of the high-profile events that get Toronto high on Hollywood glamour each fall. This year, Koifman's tenth working TIFF, NKPR's busy with Paul Haggis's Artists for Peace and Justice Festival Luncheon and the latest edition of their IT Lounge and Portrait Studio (Caitlin Cronenberg will be there, snapping photos of the A-listers who've stuffed swag bags for charity). Her agency will throw the Best Buddies Gala, too -- and get the nightlife thriving all festival long at venues like The Spoke Club. And that's all while entertaining clients and making appearances and just TCB-ing the dozens of accounts she'd be managing anyway.

"No two days during TIFF are ever the same," Koifman tells CBC Live. "I'm on the go for almost 20 hours a day." Once it's through, she says: "I'll be getting caught up on Young and the Restless alongside my two adorable black labs, Grady and Ko-D, while finally getting a chance to enjoy some Barilla pasta and Cold Stone Creamery from the comfort of my bed." Until then, her team will brace themselves for TIFF -- keeping this list of survival tips in mind.  

Check out her answers to our questionnaire for an insider take on the festival.

Describe a Typical TIFF in 7 Words or Less.

A rush of adrenaline, energy and buzz!

What movie do you most want to see this year?

To be honest, I don't typically make it to any films during festival. That being said, I was fortunate enough to preview Paul Haggis's Third Person at a screening in New York a few months ago, and I can tell you that it was AMAZING. I can't wait to watch it again with the final edit at the festival! And of course I am dying to see Gravity because, really, who doesn't love George Clooney?

What's the party invite you're most hoping to score?

I'm looking forward to all of the events that I'll be attending during festival, but this year, I am particularly excited about attending the Best Buddies Annual Gala, co-chaired and co-hosted by Daniel Greenglass and Penny Shore. They were pioneers of cause-driven TIFF events, raising funds for Best Buddies Canada, dedicated to fostering one-to-one friendships between people with and without intellectual disabilities. And this year they're honouring Anthony Kennedy Shriver, who founded Best Buddies in 1989. He is such an inspiration to me.  Through his efforts, he has impacted the lives of over 700,000 individuals.

How would you describe your TIFF style?

It's all about being strategic. I know that once TIFF begins, I'm running on autopilot and don't have time to think about my style choices so I prepare in advance! I've curated a closet filled with festival-wear: black pieces that can easily take me from day-to-night, because sometimes there's just no time to change. You'll see me in a lot of black tunics and leather pants. (I love the Vince cropped leathers -- I have 3 pairs!)

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

1. Mulberry Willow Bag
It converts from a day bag to an evening clutch with one flick of a zipper.

2. Ring-to-wrist bracelets
I never take mine off. I love the connected nature of the design and wearing them serves as a personal reminder of the significance of being connected to those you love, but also to yourself. It's a nice and important reminder, no matter how busy you are. I recently collaborated with !Xam Diamonds to produce two limited edition ring-to-wrist bracelets (one has black diamonds and the other is adorned with rubies!) with proceeds of my sales being donated to Artists for Peace and Justice...and don't be surprised if you see them on the hands of Olivia Wilde and Mila Kunis during this festival.

3. Statement heels
For day AND night. You'll see me wearing my black and gold Saint Laurent's that I purchased on a recent trip to New York.

What 3 things do you carry with you everywhere?

1. Eye Essentials
To mask missed hours of beauty sleep, I focus on making my eyes pop. You'll always find AVON's Mega Effects Mascara, Kiehl's Facial Fuel Eye De-Puffer and Tweezerman's Petite Tweeze Tweezer. The combination of these products make it look like I've slept a full night!

2. Blackberry charger
And my amazing team programmed on speed dial!

3. Bottle of AquaHydrate
I often end up missing meals, so this is how I stay hydrated during festival!

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

Have some questions ready: ask people what brings them to TIFF or which film they're most excited to see, and go from there. That being said, it's important to read people's energies that they want to be approached. If you feel that they do, and that the time is right, walk up and introduce yourself.

With so many screenings, events, etc. happening in so few days, what's the best way to beat exhaustion?

I'm actually so energized during festival! The buzz that converts Toronto into Hollywood North is amazing and keeps me going throughout. And I have an incredible team of over 30 hard-working, dedicated and passionate individuals that I can rely on, who ensure all of our initiatives run seamlessly which definitely helps lessen reaching total exhaustion.

Tell us your favourite TIFF memory.

I've experienced so many memorable moments that picking just one is almost impossible! A definite highlight was in 2009 when we launched Paul Haggis's Artists for Peace and Justice charity at the festival, an organization dedicated to supporting communities in Haiti through programs in education, healthcare and dignity initiatives. Peter Tunney created a live art red carpet, and had celebrities like Olivia Wilde, Colin Farrell and Kim Cattrall dip their feet in red paint and walk on a canvas -- something that hadn't been seen before at any festival. What really added importance to that launch was its timing. Our TIFF event happened six months before the earthquake in Haiti, at a time when most people couldn't point out the country on a map. This year marks our fifth anniversary with APJ, and I'm proud to announce that through TIFF initiatives, we've helped raise over four million dollars.

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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