Last Night the Toronto International Film Festival went into full throttle at the Opening Night Festivities at the Liberty Grande. Most stumbled in around the stroke of 11:30PM and some even pooled outside hoping some generous soul would have an extra ticket for them to get in. I was all ready for an exciting evening of internet downloading and creating brilliant literature when my friend yanked me off swivel chair thanks to an extra ticket.

For those of you who've never been, the Opening Night shindig is ever rarely a networking event. It's a PARTY. Don't think you'll bump into celebrities, unless they're Canadian character actors and relatives and/ or assistants of directors/ producers. (I met Atom Egoyan's dad last night.) State-side and International celebs don't start showing up till Friday anyways, and even if they did, they're most likely to be guarded by the scary lady with the headset and clipboard standing at the entrance of VIP.

However, what you can look forward to is the open bar and food ...

The selection is far better than any buffet I've been to. This year with the opening film of Deepa Mehta's Water, we were treated to the best Indian cuisine has to offer. Unfortunately, this blogger has only sampled true Indian cuisine a total of ONCE in her entire life, but quickly was reacquainted with the 4 separate tables of numerous spreads, meats, and samosas. A fellow party goer gushed it was the best NAN (flat bread) she'd ever tasted.

Oh, but the food sampling doesn't stop there.

In the other ballroom, close to the VIP entrance, another fusion-type Asian spread awaited us. Stacks of mini takeout boxes and disposable chopsticks lay in front of the roasted pork, pad thai and an assortment of cold noodles. Definitely not as fantastic as the Indian cuisine, but palable enough to whet our appetites for serving after serving.

As for downsides, the DJ was tolerable, but it certainly wasn't a dancing event and perhaps because of it, the festivities announced that the party would continue elsewhere till 4AM ... it was only 2AM, ridiculously early as I was told from veteran movers and shakers. Most just sat around, neglecting the DJ's plead to clear the premises and it was only till 2:30 when the party I was with decided to follow suit.

Still, in the amount of Opening Night Parties I've attended this is certainly one of the top 5. The Top still goes to the Festival that served all you can eat fresh raw oysters and wine sampling at the Distillery.

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