tiff weekend 2019

Here's what happened on the opening weekend of TIFF

Between all of the TIFF red carpet premieres, after-parties, street festival, cast dinners, press junkets and panels, star-seekers had their work cut out for them in Toronto this weekend. The heavily top-loaded film festival's first weekend was a whirlwind, as usual, but we managed to keep track of all the most exciting moments for you to enjoy.

Here's what went down during the opening weekend of the 44th annual Toronto International Film Festival.

tom hanks grinder toronto

Image via Grinder Coffee Gerrard.

Tom Hanks posed with himself at Grinder

Leslieville's Grinder Coffee managed to lure in yet another A-list actor with a creative, hyper-targeted TIFF campaign. Last year, Ryan Gosling swung by the cafe on Gerrard Street East to meet a cardboard cutout of himself. On Friday evening, Tom Hanks did the same.

susan sarandon blackbird

Photo by Hector Vasquez at the premiere of Blackbird in Toronto.

A medical emergency stopped the Blackbird premiere

Somebody is said to have passed out during the TIFF premiere of Blackbird, a drama in which Susan Sarandon plays a terminally ill mother who opts for euthanasia. The film was paused with roughly 10 minutes left to go while an elderly man was assisted from the theatre. The movie then resumed.

eddie redmayne toronto

Photo via Joel Levy Photography. 

A-Listers galore mugged for fans outside Bisha

Bisha Hotel is the place to be if your end goal is simply to see a lot of famous people. A list of boldface names as long as your arm came through the doors of the Blue Jays Way hotel between Friday and Sunday, including Annette Bening, Antonio Banderas, Willem Dafoe, Jamie Lee Curtis, Chris Evans,  Daniel Craig, Eddie Redmayne, Kristen Stewart, Jon Hamm and Wesley Snipes.

jamie foxx tiff 2019

Photo by Hector Vasquez at the premiere of Just Mercy in Toronto.

Jamie Foxx, Michael B. Jordan and Brie Larson hit the red carpet

The premium screening of Just Mercy at Roy Thomson Hall on Friday brought the film's stars Jamie Foxx, Michael B. Jordan and Brie Larson out in full force on the red carpet, where they amicably took selfies and signed autographs for gathered fans.

jennifer lopez tiffPhoto via Twitter Canada.

J-Lo championed women in film 

Hundreds of people gathered at Assembly Chef's Hall on Saturday afternoon for a panel called #SheInspiresMe, hosted by Twitter Canada. Jennifer Lopez, Constance Wu, Keke Palmer, Lili Reinhart and Hustlers director Lorene Scafaria spoke to the benefits of working with an all-female production team. 

jlo hustlers tiff

Photo by George Pimentel via RBC.

Hustlers stars rocked the red carpet

Speaking of Hustlers, J-Lo and friends (including partner Alex Rodriguez) dazzled on the red carpet of what has proven to be one of TIFF 2019's most highly-anticipated screenings. Fans at the RBC Red-Carpet Gallery went wild for Lopez, who undoubtedly wielded more star power than anyone else in Toronto this weekend.

extinction rebellion torontoPhoto via Extinction Rebellion Toronto.

Extinction Rebellion protested outside the new Tom Hanks flick 

Earlier on Saturday, activists from Extinction Rebellion Toronto disrupted the red carpet premiere of A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, starring Tom Hanks, at Roy Thomson Hall in an attempt to highlight the dangers associated with climate change.

arkells rbc housePhoto via Getty Images for RBC.

Arkells brought down the RBC House

Hamilton's very own Arkells crushed a Motown-inspired set at RBC House (known as the STORYS building during non-TIFF times) on Saturday night. Frontman Max Kerman actually got down on the floor to dance with attendees while performing. It was delightfully raucous.

hfpa party tiff 2019

Photo via Kerracters.

Literally every famous person went to the HFPA party

The biggest event at the festival, co-hosted this year by The Hollywood Reporter, brought a torrent of big-name celebrities to the Four Seasons on Saturday, including Nicole Kidman, Eddie Murphy, Kerry Washington,  Julia Stiles, Sarah Paulson, Don and Dakota Johnson, Jamie Dornan, Jonah Hill, Adam Sandler, Adam Driver and Allison Janney.

Tom Hanks photobombed J-Lo and Constance Wu

Oscar-winning actor and notorious good guy Tom Hanks delighted the stars of Hustlers by jumping in for a few photos at the AT&T-sponsored Variety Studio inside Le Germain Hotel. "Listen, I don't have on any lip gloss," he joked as J-Lo and company waved him over. "Am I allowed to stand there?"

Lead photo by

Hector Vasquez

Join the conversation Load comments

Latest in Film

10 movies getting the biggest advance buzz at the Hot Docs online film festival

People are loving Justin and Hailey Bieber's quarantine reality series filmed near Toronto

US cable channel is making a TV series about the rise and fall of Rob Ford

The Hot Docs Festival in Toronto is screening 135 films online this year

Toronto filmmaker's short film on COVID-19 acts as a PSA for those not taking pandemic seriously

Toronto International Film Festival is still happening but it might include online screenings

Toronto movie theatre is streaming films online and lets you buy tickets for healthcare workers

Big Brother Canada ends production in Toronto due to COVID-19 government orders