Fun facts about TIFF
Posted: Sep 1, 2011 7:50 AM ET
Last Updated: Aug 22, 2012 9:01 PM ET
The Toronto International Film Festival has seen its share of memorable moments: from early growing pains to spectacular successes, outrageous red carpet appearances to celebs behaving badly.
As the 2012 edition (running Sept. 6-16) gets underway, CBCNews.ca presents some fun facts and figures about the festival over the years.
$2.00 – Cost of a single admission ticket in 1976 (based on ticket package of three daytime features).
$19.69 – Cost of a regular, single adult ticket in 2012 (not including taxes).
35,000 – Number of people in attendance at the first edition in 1976.
500,000 – Average number of people in attendance in recent years.
Cousin, cousine – The festival's inaugural opening night gala film, screened at the Ontario Place Cinesphere.
Henry Winkler – The actor famously known as The Fonz was one of the first bona fide Hollywood stars to come to the festival (in 1977).
In Praise of Older Women – The 1978 premiere of the (mildly) salacious Canadian film nearly sparked a riot, after organizers were forced to turn away hundreds of filmgoers from the oversold screening. (Audience interest was high after the drama was targeted by the Ontario Film Review Board. Now, Ontario’s Film Classification Act allows TIFF to be exempt from review, after it agreed to limit audiences to those 18 and over.)
Jean-Luc Godard – Though he skipped an Oscar-related dinner held in his honour in 2010, the reclusive French filmmaking legend attended his retrospective at TIFF in 1980.
1978 – Year with the fewest number of films screened (85).
1984 – Year with the most films screened (460), including a massive retrospective of Canadian film.
127 – Number of films screened in 1976.
372 – Number of films screening in 2012 (289 feature-length, 83 shorts).
Sept. 11, 2001 – Immediately after the cataclysmic events on the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, all TIFF screenings and events went dark for the day. The festival resumed the following morning, but continued on a much more sombre tone, with all TIFF-related partying scrapped.
Tel Aviv – TIFF's choice of the Israeli metropolis for its inaugural City to City program in 2009 caused a major kerfuffle. Filmmakers like John Greyson, Ken Loach and writer Naomi Klein were among those who expressed their displeasure at the pick, while a group that including comedian Jerry Seinfeld and actress Natalie Portman supported the decision to move ahead with the new series.
1993 – The year TIFF introduced advanced ticket sales.
1994 – The year The Festival of Festivals formally became the Toronto International Film Festival. (Also the year that former programming director Piers Handling took on the post of festival director and CEO.)
Noon – The time TIFF 2012's first movie, Chris Marker's "Proustian travelogue" San Soleil, begins playing on Sept. 6. It's a free screening that's part of the festival's Cinematheque program, which showcases a curated selection of "gems from the history of Canadian and international cinema."
12:09 a.m. – The time TIFF's final screening of the year, Gangs of Wasseypur: Part Two (the second half of Anurag Kashyap's Hindi-language gangster epic), ends on Sept. 17.
4,143 – Total number of films submitted for consideration for TIFF 2012.TIFF's estimated annual economic impact on Toronto is $170 million. (Chris Young/Canadian Press)
$170 million – Estimated annual economic impact of TIFF.
Bloor Hot Docs Cinema – The historic, recently renovated Bloor Hot Docs Cinema is the latest Toronto moviehouse added to the list of TIFF screening venues.
Sacha Baron Cohen – One of TIFF's most memorable red carpet arrivals, when he turned up for the 2006 premiere of Borat in character and pulled in a cart by four women clad in peasant garb. The British comedian entertained the audience inside the theatre as well, after the projector broke down just a few minutes into the screening.
145 – Accredited members of the media in attendance in 1976.
Approx. 1,100 – Accredited members of the media in attendance in 2010.
Ed Harris – During a 2005 news conference for A History of Violence, the U.S. actor threw a glass of water at a wall in an odd attempt to make a point about the nature of violence.
Sean Penn – The actor sparked a fuss in 2006 when he lit up a cigarette and smoked during a TIFF media conference. Toronto Public Health subsequently fined the host venue, Sutton Place Hotel, for $600, but Penn avoided a personal financial penalty because he hadn't been told about Ontario’s ban against smoking in enclosed spaces.
72 – Number of countries with films at TIFF 2012.
93 per cent – Number of feature films screening as world, international or North American premieres at TIFF 2012.
270 minutes – length of 2012's longest movie, Penance.
1 minute, 40 seconds – length of 2012's shortest title, Pacific Sun.
People's Choice Award – TIFF's main, audience-voted prize, which has become an important bellwether for the subsequent film awards season. A few People's Choice winners that went on to further success include Roger & Me, Hotel Rwanda, Precious, Slumdog Millionaire and The King's Speech.
Bruce McDonald – After his film Roadkill won the prize for best Canadian film in 1989, the director said he would spend part of the $25,000 award on "a big chunk of hash" and a "1963 Chrysler LeBaron."
Atom Egoyan – When his film The Adjuster won the best Canadian film title in 1991, he gave his $25,000 cash prize to a shocked John Pozer, the Vancouver-based director of The Grocer's Wife.
TIFF Bell Lightbox – The permanent home of TIFF, which officially opened in 2010, is located at the corner of King and John streets and built on property previously owned by Clara and Leslie Reitman, the parents of Ghostbusters director Ivan Reitman.
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