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TIFF TIFF 2019: Nicole Kidman and Kerry Washington step out at splashy celebrations of women

The third day of TIFF was dedicated to women in film - it also served the splashiest parties of the festival so far.

For the second year, Chanel and Variety came together to give a dinner in honour of female filmmakers. La Banane on Ossington Avenue was the spot for the swish supper, which saw an impressive set of A-listers, and a veritable United Nations of actors and directors squishing into the French resto’s plush banquettes.

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At one table Nicole Kidman, Kerry Washington and Shailene Woodley (in town for The Goldfinch, American Son and Endings/Beginnings, respectively), at another was Allison Janney, here at the fest for Bad Education, which premieres later this evening. At nearby tables sat actors including Priyanka Chopra, Felicity Jones, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Cynthia Erivo, Morfydd Clark from Wales, Australian Geraldine Viswanathan, and a handful of Canadians for good measure, including Hannah Gross, Deragh Campbell and Sarah Gadon. On the director front, seated too was Bryce Dallas Howard, whose documentary Dads premiered earlier in the day, and Chinonye Chukwu, whose Clemency will have the premiere treatment later this week. Polish director Małgorzata Szumowska, here for The Other Lamb, Sophie Deraspe, Lisa Barros D’Sa, and French director Mati Diop, who Monday evening will receive the first Mary Pickford Award at the TIFF Tribute Gala, were also all in attendance.

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Once dinner wrapped, many of the aforementioned headed for the Four Season Hotel, where the Hollywood Foreign Press Association party (the non-profit organization responsible for handing out the Golden Globes), this year sponsored by Dior, was heating up in the ballroom. While wading social waters, I passed Renée Zellweger, here for the Canadian premiere of the Judy Garland biopic Judy, and out too, were the great Isabelle Huppert, Keri Russell, Rosario Dawson, 2019 TIFF rising star Kacey Rohl, costume designer extraordinaire Ruth E. Carter (her work on Black Panther won her an Academy Award), Tilda Cobham-Hervey, star of the Helen Reddy biopic I Am Woman, and her director Unjoo Moon. The brightest star at the packed HFPA party just might have been Jennifer Lopez, who stopped by before heading to the party for the film which she’s in town to promote, Hustlers. The flick, directed by Lorene Scafaria, got the party treatment over at Sofia in Yorkville, courtesy of Audi and World Class. Ms. Lopez’s co-stars Julia Stiles, Constance Wu, Lili Reinhart, Madeline Brewer and Mette Towley were also all in attendance.

Elsewhere in the city: Dakota Johnson and Susan Sarandon were both out at the Artists for Peace and Justice Festival Gala, a TIFF-timed black tie dinner now in its 11th year, which raises funds, this year $1.1-million, which will support community development work in Haiti. Over at the Nordstrom Supper Suite, also being held for the 11th year, was the Creative Coalition’s Annual Spotlight Initiative Awards Dinner, where Keke Palmer, here at TIFF for Hustlers and Imogen Poots, in town for Castle in the Ground, were among those being honoured at the intimate sit-down. Over at RBC House, the Julie Dely-directed film My Zoe had its post-premiere party, and nearby at Patria, Jamie Lee Curtis, Toni Collette and Ana de Armas joined the rest of their cast at The Knives Out post-screening toast.

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