10 fun facts about the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF)

It started as a humble festival with underdog origins, but 39 years later the Toronto International Film Festival has blossomed into a glittering (and strictly A-list) event.

"Second only to Cannes in terms of high-profile pics, stars and market activity," according to Variety, the festival is undoubtedly one of the most prestigious events on the film industry's social calendar, with Hollywood heavyweights like Brad Pitt, George Clooney andEmily Blunt laying claim to Toronto's hotspots come September.

With TIFF just around the corner, HELLO! Online rounds up some fun and little-known facts about the homegrown film festival.

Scroll down for 10 fun facts…

1. Previously called the "Festival of Festivals," it was originally meant to showcase the best films from other festivals around the world. The name was changed to the Toronto International Film Festival in 1994.

2. In 1976, admission cost just two dollars, based on a package of three daytime features. A ticket today costs around $20 (though packages can cost as much as $1,000!).

3. Thanks, in part, to its mid-September run, TIFF has become famous for introducing the following year’s Oscar contenders. Best Picture winners American Beauty, 12 Years a Slave and Slumdog Millionaire all premiered at TIFF.

4. Until 2015, TIFF had no jury and was non-competitive, adding to the relaxed, fun nature of the festival. There was always one major prize, however – the People’s Choice Award, which is voted in by moviegoers. Previous winners include Precious, Slumdog Millionaire, 12 Years a Slave and Roger & Me. This year, with the introduction of the juried Platform program, 12 select films by international filmmakers are judged by an international jury of three for a $25,000 prize.

5. TIFF was featured as the backdrop of a murder mystery in the 2014 film Jiminy Glick in Lalawood, which starred Canadian comic Martin Short.

6. In 2007, TIFF contributed $67 million to Toronto’s economy. By 2013, the boost had grown to $189 million!

7. The festival welcomed around 432,000 attendees last year.

8. The TIFF Bell Lightbox opened its doors in 2010. It's built on property previously owned by Clara and Leslie Reitman, the parents of Ghostbusters director Ivan Reitman. Ivan is set to open his first restaurant, Montecito, next to the TIFF theatre later this year.

9. The longest film at TIFF last year was Norte: The End of History at 250 minutes, while the shortest movie, CRIME: Joe Loya – The Beirut Bandit was just two minutes.

10. The longest film ever to premiere at TIFF? A 15-hour documentary series called The Story of Film: An Odyssey.

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