Navigating TIFF Part 5: Getting To, From, and Around The Ryerson Theater

Ticket Holders Line in Yellow. Rush Line in Pink.

The Ryerson theater hosts every first screening of the Midnight Madness Films. It's a 1250 seat venue and here are some details you need to know:

When should I get in line? Diehards  start lining up between 9:30 and 10:00 PM but for decent seats shoot for 10:30 PM. By 11:15 pm the line is usually halfway down Church St. 

What's up with the crazy line?!!? Long lines are part of TIFF. The ticket holders line starts in front of the Ryerson and runs east along Gerrard Street to Church Street. It then turns south along Church to Gould where it turns west along Gould and typically stops. 

Most nights, the line can be .5 km. Once the line starts to move, everyone gets in the venue within 10-15 minutes. The closer you are to Gould street, the more likely you are to sit in the balcony.

The Rush line runs west along Gerrard to Victoria then turns south on Victoria. Rush lines will be covered in an upcoming post.

Is there parking available? Street parking on Church and Gerrard is free after 9pm. Street parking is also available a few blocks east on Jarvis. There are lots south and north of the Ryerson on Church but they're expensive and best used as a last resort unless you're parking there all day and grabbing your car after the Midnight screening.

What's the closest TTC Station? The closest TTC Subway stop is College Station 1 block north of the Ryerson on Yonge and College. The last train leaves around 2:00 AM so don't count on the subway to get you home. Plenty of cabs are available and late buses are also running.

Where are the best seats? In most TIFF venues the best view and sound are always close to the reserved section. The Ryerson has a few rows in the middle of the house roped off. If you want legroom: sit in the sections in the back of at stage right or left. The first row of the balcony also has a great view and has the best legroom in the house. 

Navigating TIFF Part 4: Biking to Venues using Bike Share Toronto

We've covered walking and cabbing in other posts so today we're tackling bike sharing using Bike Share Toronto. The concept is simple, walk up to a bike share kiosk, rent a bike, ride it to another location, and dock it.

The downside of Bike Share Toronto is that it requires a credit card. That isn't big deal for locals, just be aware that there may be foreign currency transaction fees for those of you who aren't from Canada.You also have to be comfortable riding a bike in a big city where you'll be dodging cabs, pedestrians, bikes, etc. The Bike Share Toronto website has all sorts of details on how to use the system and here are some maps indicating the stations nearest the TIFF Venues.

Before you rent a bike you should check the website to make sure the dock at your location isn't full. iPhone and Android apps for bike availability are also available.

We'll start with the Bloor Hot Docs Cinema located at: 506 Bloor Street West

Isabel Bader Theater: 93 Charles Street West

Jackman Hall, Art Gallery of Ontario: 317 Dundas Street West

The Princess of Wales Theater: 300 King Street West, TIFF Bell Lightbox: 350 King Street West, & Roy Thompson Hall: 60 Simcoe Street

Ryerson Theater: 43 Gerrard Street East

Scotiabank Theater: 259 Richmond Street West (Use "The Ballroom" for theater location reference on map below)

Elgin & Winter Garden Theater: 189 Yonge Street


THE GUEST: First Look Poster and Trailer

This Ain't Downton Abbey, People!
Adam Wingard and Simon Barrett, the powerhouse creative team behind genre favorites: A Horrible Way to Die and You're Next are back with THE GUEST. Check out Dan Steven's creepy stare in the poster as well as the recently released trailer below.

THE GUEST screening times
Sat. Sept. 13th,11:59 PM, RYERSON
Sun. Sept. 14th 6:45 PM, SCOTIABANK 3



Friends and family of Midnight Madness,

My name is Nancy Taylor, and I am a TIFF newbie. I am a senior at Syracuse University and will making the trek up to Toronto in my yellow Jeep Wrangler for my first TIFF, and thus my first Midnight Madness! I have already seen two of the films from the highly anticipated line up, including David Robert Mitchell’s It Follows and Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi’s What We Do in the Shadows. They are incredible, enticing, terrifying and satisfying--in completely different ways, so I am beyond enthusiastic to see what the rest of the line up has in store for me.

(Side note: here I am with my good friend Wey and Jemaine Clement after the screening of What We Do in the Shadows at Sundance 2014. )

You may be asking yourself, how does a college student manage to intern at Cannes, Sundance and TIFF? Well, throughout my college career, I have been incredibly fortunate to participate in several of The Creative Mind Group’s internship programs, and I would not be going to Toronto if it weren’t for them.

Creative Minds is an internship program designed to help launch the careers of up and coming filmmakers by setting them up with host companies to intern with at the major film festivals throughout the world. They also arrange housing, festival accreditation and organize networking events with industry professionals, which is where I met Midnight Madness Programmer Colin Geddes. Check out the Creative Minds in Toronto promo video--it's awesome.

Anyway, it was a 9 am breakfast talk on the rooftop of a gorgeous hotel in Cannes. I had never heard of Midnight Madness before, but as soon as Colin casually mentioned his love for Hong Kong cinema and genre films—I had a feeling that MM was for me. 

I am a self proclaimed “genre cinephile,” so it seems that I have found a home in the Madness, before I have even stepped foot in Toronto. From now on, I would like to invite you all to join me on this journey as I chronicle my first experience at TIFF, in what I am calling “The Diary of a TIFF Newbie.” 

Navigating TIFF Part 3: Pearson Airport to Bell Lightbox for $3 via TTC

Previous posts have covered walking, driving, and biking around the TIFF village. Today we'll cover how to get there from the airport without spending an arm and a leg.

There are tons of ways to get from Toronto's Pearson Airport to the heart of TIFF but the cheapest is via the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC). It takes about 90 minutes and only costs $3 Canadian. Here's a handy guide that will get you from the airport to within steps of Bell Lightbox.

1) After you leave your gate at Pearson go to terminal 3 and follow these signs:

2) Once you get outside go stand by the TTC pole:

3) Wait for the 192 Airport Rocket (For schedule click here). Before you board make sure you have $3 (Canadian) in exact change. The bus drivers will not make change. If you don't have exact change you can get TTC tokens from some of the shops in Terminal 3.

4) The bus will make 1 stop before it reaches your stop, Kipling station, which is the end of the Southbound line before the bus returns to the airport. Go inside the station and get on the train. This station is at the end of the Bloor-Danforth line so no matter what train you get on you will be heading in the right direction. The Bloor-Danforth line is the green line in the map below.

5) After 14 stops you will arrive at the Spadina station. Don't worry about counting stops, just listen to the conductor as they announce each stop as the train pulls into the station. There are also maps posted in the train so you can figure out your location pretty quicky. At the Spadina station you are going to get off the Bloor-Danforth train and follow the signs at the station to the Yonge-University-Spadina line heading towards Finch. Do not go to the platform that says Yonge-University-Spadina heading towards Downsview as those trains are going in the opposite direction of Lighbox. Yonge-University-Spadina is the yellow line above.

6) If the first stop you come to is St. George you are on the right train. If you arrive at Dupont, you went the wrong way. Don't worry, just get off the train an wait for the next train going in the other direction (trains come every 10-15 minutes). From St. George it is 6 stops before you arrive at your final destination of St. Andrew which is a short walk to the Festival Box Office.


IT FOLLOWS First Look: Posters

Cannes Film Festival sensation It Follows will have its North American premiere at Midnight Madness 2014. There are plenty of rave reviews online and a couple of poster designs that appeared at Cannes (see below), but little in the way of material from the film itself. No trailer, no clips, etc. But honestly, it's better that way. All you need to know about this one is it's off-the-charts creepy. Beyond that, the less you know going in, the better. Oh, one other thing. Maybe don't bring a date to this one. Cause no one's getting laid after It Follows infects the Ryerson.

IT FOLLOWS screening times:
Sun., Sept. 7th, 11:59 PM, RYERSON
Tue., Sept. 9th, 4:00 PM, SCOTIABANK 9

WHAT WE DO IN THE SHADOWS First Look: Posters and Trailer

Directors Taika Waititi (Eagle vs. Shark; Boy) and Jermaine Clement (co-creator of Flight of the Conchords) are bringing their riotous vampire comedy What We Do in the Shadows to Midnight Madness 2014.

 Get a peek at what happens when a documentary crew follows of a group of centuries-old vampire roommates in the trailer:

WHAT WE DO IN THE SHADOWS screening times:
Fri. Sept. 12th, 11:59 PM, RYERSON
Sat. Sept. 13th, 9:30 PM, SCOTIABANK 12
Sun. Sept. 14th, 3:45 PM, SCOTIABANK 3


THE EDITOR First Look: Posters & Teaser Trailer

Winnipeg-based film collective Astron-6 (perpetrators of Father's Day and Manborg) are bringing the world premiere of their new film The Editor to Midnight Madness 2014. They've already generated a number of gorgeous and macabre poster designs for the film. The ghoulish design above is the teaser artwork. Below is the recently released final artwork, which perfectly captures the spirit of the '70s Italian giallo films that The Editor lampoons:

The filmmakers have also released the following designs for fake giallo films that feature in The Editor:

Here is the gonzo teaser trailer for this wild ride:

THE EDITOR screening times:
Thu. Sept. 11th, 11:59 PM, RYERSON
Fri. Sept. 12th, 9:15 AM, SCOTIABANK 3
Sat. Sept. 13th, 6:15 PM, SCOTIABANK 4

TOKYO TRIBE: Sion Sono Returns to Kick Off Midnight Madness 2014

The opening night film of Midnight Madness 2014 is directed by Sion Sono. So much for gradually working up to the really nutty stuff. Sono won the 2013 Midnight Madness People's Choice Award for the spectacular mind-melter Why Don't You Play in Hell? He's back this year to defend his title with Tokyo Tribe, a "yakuza/street-gang/hip-hop musical epic." For a taste of the mayhem set to be unleashed on the Ryerson on opening night, check out the Japanese trailer:

TOKYO TRIBE screening times:
Thu. Sept. 4th, 11:59 PM, RYERSON
Fri. Sept. 5th, 10:00 PM, SCOTIABANK 8
Sun. Sept. 14th, 3:30 PM, LIGHTBOX 3

TUSK First Look! Poster & Trailer

Tusk is one of the most anticipated films in the 2014 Midnight Madness program. It is the latest film from that raconteur, Kevin Smith. A film idea that was born from his Smodcast, episode number 259 to be exact. The episode was entitled The Walrus & The Carpenter. Tusk at first glance looks like a wild, funny, crazy, scary and weird, weird ride. Perfect for Midnight Madness! This is a film you do not want to miss the legendary Midnight Madness crowd. Here is the trailer:

Showtimes for TUSK:

Sat, Sept 6  11:59pm  Ryerson Theatre
Sun, Sept 7 9:45pm   The Bloor Hot Docs Cinema
Fri, Sept 12 3:45pm   Scotiabank Theatre 1


Navigating TIFF Part 2: Driving Distances and Minimum Cab Fares between TIFF Venues

Though my preferred method of travel around the TIFF village is on foot, sometimes you just have to breakdown and take a cab.

The TIFF venues are always near busy intersections so getting a cab when a screening lets out isn't that hard. Just find a cab, stick out your hand, and off you go. The fares in this spreadsheet are based on www.taxifarefinder.com which I've used in the past and have found to be fairly accurate. I'm posting the medium traffic fare. The fares listed below that are in the $4 - 8 range are accurate +/- ~$1. The fares in the$11 - 15 range are accurate +/- ~$3 to $5.

Navigating TIFF Part 1: Distance & Foot Travel Time Between Venues

Navigating TIFF's village can be a daunting task for the uninitiated. So, over the next few days, I'll be doing a series of posts on getting around using various modes of transport. My personal favorite way to get around is on foot and a few years ago I created the matrix below. I've personally walked these routes numerous times over the last 10+ years and can vouch for their accuracy.

For those worried about the location of the Bloor, if you use Bell Lightbox as a reference point it's almost the same distance as the Bader if you walk. In fact, the Bloor is closer to the Lightbox than Bader if you drive!



The Toronto International Film Festival’s Midnight Madness programme brings thrills, chills and all sorts of kills to Festival audiences once again. Get your passports stamped and experience an international cinematic rollercoaster which includes: a Yakuza street gang hip-hop musical epic; spine-chilling Spanish zombies with insatiable appetites; a Finnish boy hunter rescuing the President of the United States from terrorists; and Flemish cub scouts trapped in the woods with sinister companions.

“Midnight Madness has been entertaining connoisseurs of the exquisitely explicit for over 25 years, and is now an essential destination for cinematic masters of outrageous expression,” says Colin Geddes, International Programmer for the Festival. “After the sun sets on the Festival days, fearless audiences will converge at the Ryerson Theatre to be served a visual feast of the bizarre, the horrifying and the wonderfully wacky.”

Along with the triumphant return of last year’s People’s Choice Award-winner Sion Sono, Midnight Madness will also welcome back renowned alumni Adam Wingard, Mark Hartley and Jaume Balagueró. The Festival is also set to proudly celebrate indie legend Kevin Smith’s homecoming after 20 years.

Jaume Balagueró, Spain World Premiere

Angela Vidal wakes up in a high-security quarantine facility, sole survivor and witness to the horrific events inside the building. But does she remember what happened to her? Is she carrying a virus? Distrust spreads through the isolated facility while new, even more deadly forms of evil spread even faster

Jalmari Heleander, Finland/United Kingdom/Germany World Premiere

The fate of the most powerful man in the world lies in the hands of a 13-year-old boy. Plunged into a deadly game of cat and mouse, Oskari and the president must team up to survive the most extraordinary night of their lives.

Jonas Govaerts, Belgium World Premiere

Young, imaginative 12-year-old Sam heads off to camp with his Cub Scouts pack. In the woods, he stumbles upon a strange treehouse and a masked, feral child. When his leaders ignore his warnings about the mysterious boy, Sam starts to feel increasingly isolated from the pack, and convinced a terrible fate awaits them all.

Mark Hartley, Australia International Premiere

Director Mark Hartley (Not Quite Hollywood, Machete Maidens Unleashed!) continues his delightful documentary disinterment of down-market movie detritus with this chronicle of the rise and fall of 1980s action-exploitation juggernaut Cannon Films, whose contributions to the cinematic canon include American Ninja, The Delta Force, Death Wish II and Masters of the Universe.

Adam Wingard, USA Canadian Premiere

The follow-up to Adam Wingard and Simon Barrett’s wildly popular You're Next, The Guest tells the story of a mysterious and devastatingly charming visitor, David (Dan Stevens of Downton Abbey) who arrives on the doorstep of a bereaved family claiming to be the best friend of their dead son, a young soldier who died in action. The Petersons welcome David into their home and into their lives, but when people start mysteriously dying in town, their teenage daughter Anna (Maika Monroe of It Follows) starts wondering if David is responsible.

David Robert Mitchell, USA North American Premiere

For 19-year-old Jay (Maika Monroe), the fall should be about school, boys and weekends at the lake. Yet after a seemingly innocent sexual encounter she suddenly finds herself plagued by nightmarish visions; she can't shake the sensation that someone, or something, is following her. As the threat closes in, Jay and her friends must somehow escape the horrors that are only a few steps behind. With a riveting central performance from Monroe and a strikingly ominous electronic score by Disasterpeace, It Follows is an artful psychosexual thriller from David Robert Mitchell, whose The Myth of the American Sleepover premiered at Critics' Week in 2010. The film also stars Keir Gilchrist, Daniel Zovatto, Jake Weary, Olivia Luccardi, and Lili Sepe.

Midnight Madness Opening Night Film
Sion Sono, Japan International Premiere

Set in an alternate Tokyo of the near future, director Sion Sono continues his run of sensational films with the explosive street gang tale, Tokyo Tribe. Tokyo Tribe is the first live-action adaptation of the best-selling manga series Tokyo Tribe 2 by Santa Inoue, which has sold two million copies and has been published in Asia and the west to great popularity.

Kevin Smith, USA World Premiere

Wallace (Justin Long) is a podcaster on a mission who thinks he has found the story of a lifetime in Howard Howe (Michael Parks), an adventurer with amazing stories and a curious penchant for walruses. When Mr. Howe’s true desires unfold, things take a dark turn and Wallace faces a terrifying transformation at the hands of his captor. As his friends Alison and Teddy (Genesis Rodriguez and Haley Joel Osment) search the backwoods of Canada to rescue him, they discover a nightmare from which there is no escape. Conceived from one of indie legend Kevin Smith's own Smodcast’s, Tusk is an unprecedented tale that is equal parts hilarious and horrifying.

Taika Waititi and Jemaine Clement, New Zealand/USA. Canadian Premiere

Vladislav (Jemaine Clement), Viago (Taika Waititi), and Deacon (Jonathan Brugh) are three flatmates who are just trying to get by and overcome life’s obstacles—like being immortal vampires who must feast on human blood. Hundreds of years old, the vampires are finding that beyond sunlight catastrophes, hitting the main artery, and not being able to get a sense of their wardrobe without a reflection, modern society has them struggling with the mundane like paying rent, keeping up with the chore wheel, trying to get into nightclubs, and overcoming flatmate conflicts.

Tickets to screenings for this programme will be available for individual purchase as well as through the Midnight Madness Pack, which includes all 10 screenings for $180, or $115 for students and seniors.

Purchase Festival ticket packages online 24 hours a day at tiff.net/festival, by phone from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. ET daily at 416.599.TIFF or 1.888.599.8433

or visit the Gupta Box Office in person from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. ET daily at TIFF Bell Lightbox, Reitman Square, 350 King Street West, until August 20 while quantities last.

TIFF prefers Visa.

The 39th Toronto International Film Festival runs September 4 to 14, 2014.
Social Media:
@mmadnesstiff @TIFF_NET
#MidnightMadness #TIFF14

About TIFF
TIFF is a charitable cultural organization whose mission is to transform the way people see the world through film. An international leader in film culture, TIFF projects include the annual Toronto International Film Festival in September; TIFF Bell Lightbox, which features five cinemas, major exhibitions, and learning and entertainment facilities; and innovative national distribution program Film Circuit. The organization generates an annual economic impact of $189 million CAD. TIFF Bell Lightbox is generously supported by contributors including Founding Sponsor Bell, the Government of Canada, the Government of Ontario, the City of Toronto, the Reitman family (Ivan Reitman, Agi Mandel and Susan Michaels), The Daniels Corporation and RBC. For more information, visit tiff.net.

The Toronto International Film Festival is generously supported by Lead Sponsor Bell, Major Sponsors RBC, L'Oréal Paris and Visa, and Major Supporters the Government of Ontario, Telefilm Canada and the City of Toronto.The Midnight Madness programme is sponsored by Cineplex Entertainment and Space.


Midnight Madness Passes On Sale Now!

Artwork by Cain Motter
As I write this our main man: Colin Geddes is locked away furiously reviewing Midnight Madness submissions to make sure we get to see the absolute best of the best. We're still a while away from his big reveals but you know whatever he picks is gonna be a party. With that said.... MIDNIGHT MADNESS PASSES ARE ON SALE NOW RIGHT HERE!!! Well, as long as you have a Visa, otherwise you have to wait till July 9th.

Don't get caught ticketless in a rush line. The Midnight Madness Pass is the only way to guarantee you a seat to all ten Midnight Madness screenings. No dealing with flex pass vouchers, off-sale screenings, or premium this or that. Just 10 tickets to the biggest party at TIFF14!

Tickets to screenings for this programme will be available for individual purchase as well as through the Midnight Madness Pass, which includes all 10 screenings for $180, or $115 for students and seniors. Purchase Festival ticket packages online 24 hours a day here. Information on purchasing tickets over the phone or in person is available here.


Find the Madness Online and One Last Arrrrrrr!

We've shut things down here at the blog until next year's Midnight Madness Programme and MM Programmer Colin Geddes has been disassembled and sent to the shop for cleaning (you wouldn't believe what gets stuck in his cogs and gears), but things are going strong on the Midnight Madness Facebook page and on our new Midnight Madness Tumblr. So if you need a little dose of the Madness come by for a hit.

And, courtesy of Madnik Heather, click through for one last pirate "Arrr" available whenever you need it throughout the year!

Thanks to Colin, all the bloggers, all the filmmakers and volunteers, and most especially thanks to our audience for making the Madness happen!