“Like in Hollywood”: the big return of TIFF parties

In the garage, employees are busy preparing for the event. Bottles are brought there, glasses are cleaned, tables and chairs are placed. There is work, but everything is done in a good mood, because yes, everyone is delighted with the return of the events in person.

% de mes invités confirment leur présence. Là, j’ai eu un retour positif de 95% des personnes sur ma liste”,”text”:”D’habitude, 75% de mes invités confirment leur présence. Là, j’ai eu un retour positif de 95% des personnes sur ma liste”}}”>Usually, 75% of my guests confirm their attendance. There, I had positive feedback from 95% of the people on my list, illustrates Natasha Koifman. She meets us on the large balcony overlooking her garden and swimming pool. In less than two hours, this space will be filled with guests, photographers and servers.

Natasha Koifman and her PR firm NKPR have been hosting parties on the sidelines of TIFF for nearly 20 years.

Photo: Radio-Canada / Rozenn Nicolle

Natasha Koifman, owner of the public relations firm that bears her name and a well-known figure in the Toronto social scene, is calm. I am a very introverted person, she says. However, his evening kicks off a marathon of social events on the sidelines of the TIFF (to be held from September 8 to 18).

These evenings are an opportunity to have fun, of course, but Natasha points out that they are also business opportunities.

TIFF est le festival où le plus grand nombre de films sont achetés et vendus. C’est ici que les cinéastes viennent pour vendre leurs films. Donc bien sûr, c’est souvent dans des soirées comme celles-ci que des deals sont conclus”,”text”:”Le TIFF est le festival où le plus grand nombre de films sont achetés et vendus. C’est ici que les cinéastes viennent pour vendre leurs films. Donc bien sûr, c’est souvent dans des soirées comme celles-ci que des deals sont conclus”}}”>the TIFF is the festival where the greatest number of films are bought and sold. This is where filmmakers come to sell their films. So of course, it’s often at parties like these that deals are concludedshe explains.

People can’t wait to get together and have a festival that will be in person. »

A quote from Natasha Koifman, Owner, Natasha Koifman Public Relations

A little later, while the evening is in full swing, we meet actor and producer Vinay Virmani. The young man confirms Natasha’s statements and claims to have concluded agreements himself during evenings on the sidelines of the TIFF.

Vinay Virmani is leaning on an ephemeral bar in the middle of an outdoor reception.

Vinay Virmani is the producer of the documentary Black Ice. The film, directed by Hubert Davis and co-produced by, among others, Drake and LeBron James, looks at racism in the hockey world.

Photo: Radio-Canada / Rozenn Nicolle

Let’s say it’s much easier to do that here than by Zoom, he said, laughing. This year, he will notably defend the documentary film Black Ice, of which he is the co-producer, and which will have its world premiere during the festival.

A windfall for subcontractors

It’s not just producers and investors who benefit from the TIFF to do business. The festival and all the social events organized during its course are a real godsend for all kinds of contractors.

Natasha’s party is a good example. In total, about fifty people were employed for the event: the NKPR team, but also cooks, waiters, barmaids, photographers, and DJs.

A waiter hands a tray full of tacos to guests.

According to Paolo Pusateri, owner of a catering service, the new formats of more intimate celebrations of TIFF, having emerged since the beginning of the pandemic, constitute business opportunities for his family company.

Photo: Radio-Canada / Rozenn Nicolle

The fact that we employ so many people is clearly good for the economy, argues Natasha, who does not hide that the labor shortage has made hiring staff particularly difficult this year.

We are very busyconfirms Paolo Pusateri, co-owner of the caterer of the same name. TIFF, les gens organisent toujours des soirées. Il y a les gros événements, qu’on voit à la télévision, mais il y a aussi les plus petites soirées plus intimes. Et ça, c’est une énorme opportunité pour nous”,”text”:”Pendant le TIFF, les gens organisent toujours des soirées. Il y a les gros événements, qu’on voit à la télévision, mais il y a aussi les plus petites soirées plus intimes. Et ça, c’est une énorme opportunité pour nous”}}”>During the TIFF, people always throw parties. There are the big events, which we see on television, but there are also the smaller, more intimate evenings. And this is a huge opportunity for usexplains the businessman.

Paolo Pusateri answers the journalist's questions, facing the camera.

Paolo Pusateri, owner of a catering service, believes that the new, more intimate evening formats that have appeared at TIFF since the pandemic constitute a great business opportunity for his family business.

Photo: Radio-Canada / Rozenn Nicolle

Because beyond the glamour, the glitter and the love of the seventh art, the TIFF is also a business.

The festival is one of the most lucrative cultural events in the country, with direct and indirect spinoffs estimated at more than $150 million.

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