Sunday, September 4, 2011


TIFF 2011 Tickets
OMG. Can I tell you about the Disaster known as ordering Single Tickets for TIFF 2011?  As has been the case in past years, I've queued around 4:00 AM and have had no problem securing tickets by the time they are released at 7:00 AM. This year however, was... different.

Plagued by Dramas of the technical kind - not the Cinematic kind - Moviegoers ordering tickets online and in-person were subject to unreasonably long wait times.  In fact after being told multiple times that Computer Systems were down and then Printers being "offline", finally at 12:30 PM (seven-plus hours later), I got my Tickets but not after getting shut out of six Movies I wanted to see.  I had to cancel a Meeting I had scheduled, thinking I would be out by 9:00 AM at latest.

Among those Galas to sell-out almost instantaneously were U2's From the Sky Down, Madonna's W.E., George Clooney's Ides of March, Nicolas Winding Refn's Drive and David Cronenberg's A Dangerous Method.  Luckily with the help of my Friends, who actually are TIFF Members,  I was able to get a ticket to the hotly-tipped Drive Premiere.  For those who don't know, TIFF Members who pay a significant donation, in turn get preferred Ticket Ordering.  That means that some who lined-up overnight for Single Tickets didn't even have a fighting chance at seeing the Movies they wanted as others beat them to it even before the race began.

The sad thing about all of this is that TIFF itself likely will not apologize properly for failing to take the necessary precautions to increase its bandwidth, ensuring it had the proper resources to support the flood of orders AGAIN.  The reason I've stopped ordering tickets online is because I know well how it feels to be kicked-out of a slow and faulty Ordering System. Yet, despite all of this, TIFF has the resources to allocate towards that gorgeous TIFF Bell Lightbox building.  I love and live for the TIFF every year, but come on now, it's time to get your act together!  This is bloody embarrassing for a festival of international stature.

I also haven't even gone into the Cash Grab on TIFF's part, increasing their number of Premium Screenings, meaning they are now charging $43.25 to see a Movie at venues like Ryerson Theatre  (yes, an Auditorium) which in previous years was considered a standard venue.  And I'd like to know what logic went into scheduling only two Screenings of clearly in-demand titles like A Dangerous Method, Drive and The Ides of MarchDrive, especially should be playing a much-larger venue for one instead of Ryerson Theatre based on the amount of buzz it's receiving.

My poor Friend Angela, made arrangements to drive an hour into the City from Brampton, having her Baby taken care of and also queuing at 4:00 AM. Angela was shut-out of every single Movie she wanted to see when it came her turn to reach the Order Desk at 12:30 PM.  My heart goes out to her and as she said in her own words, "Never again.  This left such a bad taste in my mouth.".

And did I mention how frustrating it is seeing Scalpers get tickets over legitimate TIFF-goers? . "Anyone buying Tickets?", I was asked as I arrived at Metro Hall in the wee hours of the morning. Scalpers - 1, Donating TIFF Members - 1, General Movie-going Public - 0.

Among the Films I'll be seeing this year include: Drive, Hick, Friends with Kids, Like Crazy, Butter, The Awakening, Take Shelter,  Jeff, Who Lives at Home and Hysteria.  Still trying for: Ides of March, A Dangerous Method, The Lady, Albert Nobbs, Shame and The Oranges.

Don't expect many updates here til Thursday as I take a bit of a breather because trust me, things will be getting a little crazy around here come Friday.  Reviews, Celeb Photos and awesome Giveaways including a Cast-signed copy of the Novel Drive (Movie tie-in) are just around the corner!  Are you ready, Mavenati?


  1. So crazy, here's my video of the line just after noon yesterday...

  2. It doesn't take a "significant" donation, Tiff memberships start as low as 40$ for a student, 50$ for out of town individual, 60$ for a senior, 99$ for an individual. That seems reasonable.

  3. I heard from some friends who work at TIFF that trying to get tickets to A Dangerous Method was a lost cause even for a good majority of people who ordered in advance. So I wouldn't be too upset on that still managed a really good crop of tickets, even with all the problems. I've been hearing horror stories of people who were shut out of almost everything during the advance day on Friday, and Saturday.

  4. You'd have to pay ME to sit through that shit. Most of them sound like stuff that will be on dvd in few months anyway. Save your money.

  5. As I found out to my disappointment this year (after buying a $50 distance membership), early purchasing privileges only start at the $1600 membership level!

  6. ALOT of misinformation here folks. I am a Contributor Member of tiff. It cost me and my friend $150 each. This got our order processed before the public lottery. We got all our first choices, however many of them were 2nd screenings such as Drive, as first screenings, the galas, were not available to even members. I bought some galas, including W.E. online at 7am on Saturday within 10 minutes. Not sure what the fuss was about. I wasn't alone, as a friend of mine also bought W.E. tickets at 7am on Saturday. Also, as members, we did not have access to buy 1st screenings of Galas at RTH nor Ryerson. VISA Infinite cardholders however, were able to do so.
    I've been going to tiff for the last 20 years, it's not complicated, and as much as it sucks that Ryerson 1st screenings cost more and aren't as available due to corporate sponsorship, I get's about making money...that's life folks. And computer systems crash. An event as big as Comic-Con can't keep their ticket ordering system from crashing. It's a fact of life. We can bitch all we want, but that isn't going to solve anything. If it's all just too much for you, don't go. Wait for the DVD like Anonymous said earlier.

  7. TIFF is a non-profit company. All these costs that you are calling a "cash grab" is more likely helping to pay off the high costs of running the film festival, hiring celebrities, paying off the cost it took to build the Bell Lightbox, etc.