Preems, block party celebrate fest's new HQ

After much frantic last-minute tweaking and an exclusive shindig Saturday night, Toronto’s TIFF Bell Lightbox cut the ribbon and officially rolled out the red carpet to the public on Sunday.

Thousands of curious locals and visiting industryites filed into the Toronto fest’s C$196 million ($190 million) sparkling new headquarters to visit the Essential Cinema exhibit (running to Oct. 3), which includes five commissioned artworks by cinema luminaries including Atom Egoyan and Guy Maddin, and test drive its five state-of-the-art cinemas. Outside, a free afternoon block party featured perfs by Somali-Canadian rap star K’naan and 100 Monkeys, the L.A. funk unit front fronted by “Twilight” star Jackson Rathbone, whose new pic “Girlfriend” world preemed here Sunday.

The world preem of Toronto helmer Bruce McDonald’s latest, “Trigger” (eOne), a raucous rock chick pic co-starring Molly Parker and the late Tracy Wright, christened the cinemas later.

Bell Lightbox will host industry events and screenings until the end of the festival, followed by regular season programming, which includes Essential Cinema series and exhibition and exclusive firstrun engagements of domestic and international pics.

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