tiff 2016

8 ways to enjoy TIFF for free

The 41st annual Toronto International Film Festival is finally here, along with hordes of Hollywood's brightest stars (hello, Fassbender et. al.). And while TIFF is all about the glitz and glamour, you don't have to shell out wads of cash to participate in the action. Instead of dealing with high ticket prices and endlessly long rush lines, go to a free event instead!

Here are 8 ways to enjoy TIFF 2016 for free.

Visit TIFF Festival Street (Sept. 8-11)
For TIFF's opening weekend, it's shutting down King Street between University and Peter. While this sucks for those who rely on the 504, it's a huge boon for the rest of the city. If (and when) you visit, be sure to eat at a food truck, catch a concert (featuring local bands and artists) and pick up free swag from the festival's many corporate sponsors.

Go celeb-spotting (Sept. 8-18)
Station yourself behind the barricades at a red carpet premiere or in front of one of Toronto's most luxurious hotels (think the Ritz, the Shangri-La, the Four Seasons and the Hazleton). If you're lucky, you might even get a selfie with your favourite star.

See some art and arthouse films (Sept. 8-18)
The TIFF Wavelength program includes films and film-related artwork. There free are exhibitions at 99 Sudbury, Gallery TPW and Contact Gallery as well as free screenings at the TIFF Bell Lightbox.

Catch an 80s movie screening (Sept. 8-11, Festival Street)
Head to the Slaight Music Stage on Festival Street to watch some of the greatest movies from the 1980s. The stacked lineup includes Labyrinth, The Man Trap and Ferris Bueller's Day Off.

Check out the Pharrell Williams Concert (Sept. 10, Festival Street)
Grammy Award winner Pharrell Williams will keep Festival Street happy on Saturday as he serenades audiences with a free concert following the Hidden Figures sneak peek.

Spend a night with John Legend (September 13, Bloor Hot Docs Cinema)
Industry heavyweights John Legend and Mark Duplass will help Toronto celebrate this year's slate of Vanguard films with a free event at the Bloor Hot Docs Cinema. Show up early for first come, first served access to this party that'll features music, cocktails and food.

Party it up (Sept. 8-18)
Sure, TIFF has plenty of A-list-only, hoity-toity parties and events, but there are plenty for the rest off us schlubs too. DEQ at the Ritz Carlton is open to the public (for free), but if you don't want to drink at a hotel bar, lots of venues have 4 a.m. over the next two week.

Line up for the Grolsch People's Choice Award Screening (Sept. 18, Roy Thomson Hall)
As a democratic festival, the people get to crown one lucky movie with this prestigious award. See the chosen film for free on Sunday evening. TIFF will be handing out tickets two hours before the 6 p.m. screening.

Photo by Jesse Milns.

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