There are two ways of tackling TIFF: films and parties. I generally fall into the first category because, let’s be honest, I’m not really on the guest lists. But then I also prefer seeing movies when I’m not hung over, hunched in the back row like a sullen gremlin and smelling like brewery. So, when the invite arrived from boutique PR agency, NKPR, for the annual TIFF Cocktail Countdown it seemed perfect: A. I had an invite. B. Press screenings didn’t start until 10:00am the next day.

Held at the lavish Forest Hill home of NKPR founder Natasha Koifman (Toronto’s answer to Samantha Jones) the party felt like a marathon runner before race day: drinks were being nursed and there was more lounging pool side than dancing. But as Koifman noted, that’s the point: a relaxed atmosphere before the heavy duty drinking begins. What I assume to be the usual suspects were there (from Strombo to Sarah Taylor ) and the casual chat ranged from TIFF picks, to importing handbags to someone claiming they saw a lot of themselves in Larry David. Sure.

Winding down early guests snacked on cupcakes and candy (a NKPR staple I’m told) while Toronto Life’s Kevin Naulls and I lamented the fact that no one had jumped in the pool. But, to paraphrase Ice Cube, TIFF ain’t a track meet, it’s a marathon. Pace yourself.

NKPR’s TIFF Party Schedule

September 8-14
IT Lounge | NKPR (312 Adelaide St. W. | Cocktail Hours from 2-4pm.
September 9
TORO After Dark/Artists for Peace and Justice Fundraiser
Alliance Films Studio Party
ONEXONE Concert/Diesel
September 10
HELLO! Canada 5th Anniversary Red Carpet and Gala
TORO After Dark
Artists for Peace and Justice Academy Brunch
Best Buddies Gala (Guest of Honour Kathleen Turner)
September 11
Norman Jewison’s Annual Canadian Film Centre BBQ
September 12
InStyle Party
September 18
TIFF Awards Reception

~Kiva Reardon
Photos by Elli Stuhler