Toronto festival tweaking red carpet

Hopes to give A-listers better shot at marketing films

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TORONTO -- The walk by Hollywood stars to possible Oscar glory at the Toronto International Film Festival is set to grow by a few hundred feet.

TIFF organizers hope to raise the event's profile and film lineup by shifting and lengthening the red carpet outside Roy Thomson Hall.

"We're hoping to ensure greater opportunity for stars to interact with the public, and give the media a lot more space to spread out," TIFF spokeswoman Jennifer Bell said Tuesday.

The festival's red carpet stroll will now start at Metro Hall Square across the street from Roy Thomson Hall, at the corner of King and John Streets.

The strategy is to give A-list actors a better shot at marketing their movies to assembled media as they stroll cross the road to enter Roy Thomson Hall through the artists entrance.

Bell said the final length and logistics of the Roy Thomson Hall red carpet has not yet been finalized, but the festival to reap more publicity for itself and its film lineup by laying down more polyester pile.

TIFF has no film competition, but the twice-nightly premieres at Roy Thomson Hall offer stars and their handlers the best opportunity to plug their movies and launch Oscar campaigns.

Previously, the venue had a short red carpet at the main entrance that offered restricted space for star arrivals and media exposure. Shifting the red carpet also follows a 2008 Toronto entertainment district master plan from the city of Toronto that recommended cultural events like TIFF help raise the profile of Metro Square as an "open space focus" on par with Bryant Park in New York City.

The festival, which is set to run from Sept. 10-19, will make film lineup announcements over the coming weeks.
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