After years of the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) having to navigate the logistics of the event with the COVID-19 pandemic, the festival faces another obstacle this year amid the ongoing SAG-AFTRA and WGA strike.
TIFF, one of the biggest, most impressive and star-studded events in the country, runs from Sept. 7 to Sept. 17, with more than 200 films screening.
Throughout TIFF's history, Canadians have seen their local festival increase in popularity and prominence. Particularly in recent years, celebrity and movie fans have lined the streets of Toronto, waiting to catch a glimpse of their favourite stars both on red carpets and inside the theatres for the popular Q&As that happen after some screenings.
But this year, things are expected to look a little different.
How will the SAG-AFTRA and WGA strikes impact TIFF?
First and foremost, the SAG-AFTRA and WGA strikes aren't impacting the breadth of projects that are part of TIFF, but it will result in a different approach to red carpets, in particular.
Hollywood directors can attend, after the Directors Guild of America (DGA) and Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) struck a deal earlier this year, in addition to any Canadian and international stars not governed by the U.S. unions.
Actors working on movies from producers not part of the AMPTP can get permission from the union to promote these projects through interim agreements. But of course, stars may make a personal decision not to attend amid the strike.
Stars that will be at TIFF
Just this week, TIFF confirmed filmmaker Ava Duvernay will be in attendance for the Gala screening of her film Origin on Sept. 11. Sylvester Stallone will also be present at the festival, with the documentary Sly making its world premiere at TIFF and the Rocky star will also participate in a "In Conversation With…" event on Sept. 15.
According to Deadline, Sean Penn and Dakota Johnson, who are producers of the movie Daddio, will be at TIFF, in addition to Finn Wolfhard who is a co-director of the film Hell Of A Summer. The outlet also reported that Viggo Mortensen, director and producer of the film The Dead Don’t Hurt, will be at the festival, along with Maya Hawke and Laura Linney for the film Wildcat.
TIFF tickets see skyrocketing resale prices
While most of the world has been up in arms about the resale prices for a ticket to a Taylor Swift concert, getting tickets to certain screenings during the Toronto festival could be costly as well.
Movie lovers can purchase tickets the screenings through Ticketmaster, but just like a concert, the resale market could leave people paying hundreds, even thousands of dollars for a ticket to a film.
For example, currently on resale the site StubHub, one ticket for the premiere screening of Craig Gillespie's film Dumb Money is listed for $1000, with Ticketmaster Verified Resale tickets for the same screening listed as high as $400.
Of course, we'll see if people actually pay these prices to see the films.