Day 1 of the Toronto Film Fest is complete, which means the real fun can begin.
The first day has traditionally been a quiet one, with the big stars not arriving until the weekend.
But just as the first day was coming to a close, out of hiding came the man known as Borat.
Hundreds of fans turned out to last night’s midnight premiere of “Borat,” and since tickets sold out seconds after they went on sale last week, hundreds were turned away without seeing the movie (the complete title is “Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan”).
But even though they will have to wait until November to see the movie, when it hits theatres, the fans did get to see a show, in the form of an appearance from Borat himself!
Borat (Sasha Baron Cohen AKA Ali G) showed up on the red carpet around midnight atop a horse-drawn carriage. Except the horse was not pulling the carriage; it was riding with Borat, as a handful of females pulled in lieu of the horse.
Borat is one of the most buzzed about films, and Cohen did not break character once as he walked the carpet.
Even Michael Moore showed up to see the film.
I started my day by visiting the International Trends Lounge, set up by NKPR and L.A.’s Backstage Creations. It’s a gift lounge for the celebrities to visit and pick up a few hot items, on the house.
Why do these companies come just to give stuff away to celebrities? As the various company representatives told me today, if a celebrity is pictured with their item, or better yet, mentions that they use their item, it’s like striking gold.
“Our lounge is unique,” said Natasha Koifman, president of NKPR. “Celebrities have the opportunity to not accept their gift bags, come in, sign them, and donate them to the Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada.”
When I first walked in, I was greeted by children’s entertainer Sir Jerry, who once interviewed John Lennon when he was just 14 years old. That was before he became Sir Jerry. Yoko Ono will be in town this week; perhaps they can reminisce?
A representative from Teye Make-Up presented me with a gift bag containing some make-up that I will never use because that’s not my thing, but at least it means one less birthday present to buy. I reminded him that I was not a celebrity, nor female, but he was happy to present it to me anyway, and who am I to turn down a free item? Kiehl’s, a cosmetic company, also were going to hand me some of their products after I tried the men’s moisturizer, but I seem to have left without picking up any. My skin will not be the same.
Next to them was The Right Hand Gal, a jewelry company started by two sisters, Shawna and Randi Herlich. Even their mother and one of their daughters were helping out in the lab, making it a true family affair.
One of the similarities between all the companies there: when I asked which celebrity they hope stops by, the answer was always Brad Pitt. I must figure out who this Brad Pitt guy is and ask him for his secret.
Moving right along… Earthchild Clothing has a store that just opened in Toronto, yet the company was established in South Africa in 1992. They sell fashionable children’s wear that I wish they made in my size.
Even Timberland was in the house. No, not the beat-maker behind Justin Timberlake’s SexyBack (I was going to bring sexy back, but Justin beat me to it, damn) and Nelly Furtado’s Promiscuous Girl… that’s Timbaland. This is Timberland, the clothing company, who gave Don McKellar a jacket earlier in the day.
I rushed out of there to head to my first Film Fest interview, the director of “Everything’s Gone Green,” Paul Fox.
The film, written by “Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated Culture” author Douglas Copeland, stars Paulo Costanzo (“Joey,” “40 Days and 40 Nights”) as a 30-year-old slacker, presented with an opportunity to launder money.
Fox was battling the flew but still went through a day of interviews. He plans to see the film called “Fido” before the fest ends, in case you were wondering what his suggestion was.
Much more on that film in the days to come, since I’ll be speaking with Paulo and the rest of the cast this weekend.