Every year after the festival is over I am exhausted. All I want is to sit quietly with my legs elevated wearing some sort of beer hat device full of 50 while minions rub my sore festival knees and my dry hobbit feet.
Every year after the festival I also wish I had seen just one more movie. Last year The King’s Speech and Super were on my list of festival regrets, along with the three bar night that started with me leaving Blue Valentine early and missing the QandA so that I would have enough time to get to the bathroom and get a coffee before getting back to the Ryerson to see Kaboom. Araki can be entertaining, but one must always make room for more Gosling. Always. More. Gosling.
You will never see everything you want, but if you plan, you will get to see what you need to get you through until Christmas. Many high-profile ‘good quality’ festival movies will be released just before the end of December so if you miss out on a Black Swan or a Precious because they are Galas with limited public screenings it’s not the end of the world.
Unless you are taking part or all of the week off to dedicate to seeing movies anything more than 10 to 15 films will be pretty tough. Even with the extra Sunday it’s a lot – and weekend screenings are always more crowded and likely to run late due to timing and traffic issues that slow the programmers and talent down when it comes to intros. Whether you go with a programmer choice pack, choose your own adventure option or some combination of both you still need time for bodily functions and travel time between theatres. Options are limited in the evenings for the first few days because of the amount of tough-to-get premium screenings and high profile North American premieres.
For the semi-pro crowd who take a couple of days off and locals that have flexible work schedules (or absentee managers) you can try for 15 to 20, but the high end of that range will still require some creative scheduling, a lucky draw in the ticket lottery and an ability to enjoy a broad range of films.
If you are planning to dedicate the week (and your life and back and feet) to the festival then you can go for 20 or more up to the ultimate hardcore 50 film pass. I still have yet to meet anyone that is not paid in some way to see movies for their day job that sees over 45 films, but like the unicorn I must believe they exist. A pale and magical creature that needs neither daylight or sustenance and simply lives on the dust illuminated by the projectionist during a film.
Good luck, and as always be VERY patient with the TIFF site when trying to purchase.