The past two weeks have been chock full of excitement with movie premieres, star sightings, and overall TIFF hoopla! We’re not sure about you, but we’ve been enjoying every minute of it.
The annual Toronto International Film Festival drew to a close this week with its last day of screenings and awards ceremony and to commemorate this year’s 11 days of= excitement, we bring you our 2013 TIFF round-up .
If you weren’t invited to the official TIFF awards ceremony brunch at the Intercontinental hotel, here are the winners:
12 Years a Slave – People’s Choice Award for Best Film (runner-up: Prisoners and Philomena)
The Square – Best Documentary
Why Don’t You Play in Hell? –Midnight Madness Award
When Jews Were Funny – Best Canadian Feature Film
Asphalt Watches – Best Canadian First Feature
Ida –FIPRESCI Prize for Special Presentations
The Amazing Catfish –FIPRESCI Discovery Award
Hottest Celebrity Sightings
…and that’s just the tip of the iceberg!
Aside from the city-wide excitement prompted by celebrity hunting, and the contributions to the local world of film, one of TIFF’s most significant contributions to Toronto is its huge financial impact. This summer, a study showed that the Toronto International Film Festival and its namesake theatre, the three-year-old TIFF Bell Lightbox poured in $189 million to the city’s economy in the most recent fiscal year between April 1, 2012 and March 31, 2013.
5 years ago in 2008 (the last time a study was conducted on the festival’s financial impact), this number was only $50 million.
So who’s responsible?
Let’s start with the (one of the) backbones of this festival, film attendees and tourists. Last year, 27,434 out-of-town visitors came into Toronto for the festival, and we can only assume that this number was just as high in 2013 based on records showed that the cheapest available hotel room in the city during TIFF’s first week-end was going for $800 a night. Add on the prices of ticket sales and food and drink expenses for every visitor, and this is a significant chunk of cash.
Then of course, there’s the foundation of TIFF—the government sponsors and donors who made up 60% of the festival’s 2012 revenue. The festival has never had a problem seeking funding, but the amount of funds pouring in saw a remarkable increase after the Lightbox Theatre showed so much success after it’s opening.
And lastly, we have the TIFF workers. A study conducted by social research firm TNS Canada showed the number of jobs created by TIFF to be about 2300…not something to scoff at!
In an interview with the Toronto Star, TIFF’s CEO Piers Handling indicated the festival’s goal to contribute $200 million to the city’s economy by 2015—and at the rate it’s going, we have no doubt that this is more than attainable!