The Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF, stylized as tiff.) is a publicly attended film festival held each September in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. TIFF starts the Thursday night after Labour Day (the first Monday in September in Canada) and lasts for eleven days.
Founded in 1976, TIFF is now one of the most prestigious events of its kind in the world. In 1998, Variety magazine acknowledged that TIFF “is second only to Cannes in terms of high-profile pics, stars and market activity.” In 2007, Time noted that TIFF had “grown from its place as the most influential fall film festival to the most influential film festival, period.” This is partially the result of TIFF’s ability and reputation for generating “Oscar buzz”.
Given that TIFF lacks a jury and is non-competitive, regular awards handed out at other festivals for categories such as “Best Film” or “Best Actress” do not exist at the Toronto International Film Festival. The major prize, the People’s Choice Award, is given to a feature-length film with the highest ratings as voted by the TIFF-going populace. The award is often considered as a sort of “starting line” for the annual Academy Awards race, as its winner has often gone on to garner Academy Award nominations.