Take Five With...Cameron Bailey: My TIFF essentials

As artistic director of the Toronto International Film Festival, Cameron Bailey is first to be in-the-know about all things TIFF . Before fans have caught wind of which stars are touching down in Canada to celebrate their latest projects, Cameron is working behind-the-scenes to help make this year’s festival the best yet.

As the fest marks its milestone 40th year, we asked Cameron what about the annual event stands out to him. “It's been a thrill to hear people like Oprah, Bono and George Clooney praise Toronto and its audiences,” he tells Hello!. “Even better, though, is to hear from guests who tell us they were greeted at Pearson airport by immigration agents who were genuinely glad to be welcoming people to TIFF . It makes me feel like we must be doing something right.”

Here, the influential cinephile shares his TIFF survival guide, including which hometown haunts he can’t wait to get to amidst the movie mania.

Cameron Bailey is TIFF's long-running artistic director. Photo: © Getty Images

I can’t survive without the smartest smartphone I can find. I just got my hands on a Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+ and my whole Festival now lives inside it.

I’ve been drinking plenty of Lake Ontario still water and green tea, especially Japanese genmaicha. I’ve also been grabbing a lot of sushi lunches from Maki My Way on King St., right across the street from TIFF Bell Lightbox.

I can't start the Festival without a stop at the Hugo Boss shop in Yorkville. Dawn Bellini hooks me up with 11 days’ worth of gear so I always feel put together even when I'm running on fumes.

There's no relaxing in the days leading up to the Festival, but when it's all done I like to reconnect with my Brockton Village neighbourhood in the west end of Toronto. Some great bars and restaurants have popped up since my wife, Carolynne Hew, and I moved in. Bivy, Pho Phuong and the Lula Lounge are just up the street and they're a great comfort.

We try to get fans close to the people who make the films they love -- not just on the red carpets but in the theatres, through the introductions and Q&As that are a part of so many of our screenings. We’ve got something for every kind of movie lover: from star-driven dramas and comedies to challenging documentaries and arthouse work.

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