(Toronto) The Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) begins its second day on Friday after an opening night that drew sparse crowds to the red carpet amid strikes in Hollywood preventing many stars from attending at promotional events.
Still, moviegoers weren’t deterred by the lack of celebrities, instead choosing to use this year’s festival to celebrate the art of cinema and the industry’s workers.
Oakville, Ontario resident Dean Dobono says he waited in line for more than seven hours to see the opening night film, The Boy and the Heron.
Kuuku Quagraine, another animation fan waiting in line to see Hayao Miyazaki’s highly anticipated new film, said he wanted to celebrate people who love and make films, not just the stars.
Celebrities have always been a huge draw at TIFF, and several highly anticipated world premieres Friday night won’t see stars walking the red carpet.
Among these titles that are much talked about are the comedy Dumb Money, starring Seth Rogen, Pete Davidson and Shailene Woodley, as well as the Netflix thriller Reptile, with Benicio Del Toro and Justin Timberlake. Only the directors and producers will promote the films.
With so few celebrities in attendance, the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) had quite the grandstand for opening night.
Duncan Crabtree-Ireland, national general manager and chief negotiator of SAG-AFTRA, said they were ready to use the festival as a platform to get their message across.
Hollywood screenwriters’ and actors’ unions are each seeking better pay and job protection in their employment contracts with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers.