Last night might have been the start of TIFF 2017, but things were heating up the evening before that. Champagne house Perrier-Jouët hosted a do at the Four Seasons Hotel Toronto, that was part patio party, part trip down TIFF memory lane. A dose of festival nostalgia was unveiled in the form of red-carpet mainstay George Pimentel's photos, which for the duration of the festival will not simply dot the hotel's lobby walls, but are wrapping the southwest side of the uptown hotel's mod façade – Gwyneth, Halle and Angelina are among the well-known faces, for all to see in larger-than-life form.
Downtown at film festival HQ, the TIFF soirée was well under way. Priyanka Chopra was this year's guest of honour and lent her bigger-than-just-Bollywood star power to the annual fundraiser, which this year supported Share Her Journey, a just-launched campaign that supports women's voices in film and television. Joining Chopra on stage for a shop-talk was TIFF artistic director Cameron Bailey, and later in the evening, calm cocktails before the festival storm were had on the rooftop by gala guests including actors Katie Boland and Jason Isaacs, director Deepa Mehta and outgoing TIFF director Piers Handling.
Last night, on official opening night, Borg/McEnroe, the first of three (yes, three) tennis-focused films premiering this week, starring Shia LaBeouf, Sverrir Gudnason and Stellan Skarsgard made its screen debut, the film later received the party treatment at Mongrel House, which has popped up again on Queen Street West for a week of celebrations to honour Mongrel's bevy of releases.
Uptown in Yorkville, at the Nordstrom Supper Suite hosted at STK, a party was given for the much talked about Call Me By Your Name. The film's stars, Armie Hammer and Timothée Chalamet dropped in with director Luca Guadagnino after their film's debut at the Ryerson Theatre. In the same space, earlier in the evening, Papillon was feted, star Charlie Hunnam and director Michael Noer both held court in the space ahead of their big TIFF moment.
The highlight of TIFF's first night was the effervescent and otherworldly Grace Jones, who slipped into Saks Fifth Avenue, clad in Issey Miyake, for a pre-premiere toast to Grace Jones: Bloodlight and Bami, the Sophie Fiennes-directed doc about the gender-bending music and style icon. Fashion designer Jean Paul Gaultier stopped in to support his one-time muse, and later, post-screening, celebrations for the singer continued at a party hosted by fashion label Greta Constantine and Michael Cooper and his wife Krystal at the just softly opened Broadview Hotel in Toronto's east end.