TIFF Kicks Off on Historic Day With ‘Swimmers’ But Finds Itself in the Deep End With Ticketing Woes

The Toronto International Film Festival began on a historic day with one of its strongest opening films in recent years, Sally El Hosaini's

"The Swimmers," but what many audience members will remember is how difficult it was to obtain seats for the Roy Thomson Hall world premiere.

This year's TIFF, which has once again gone digital via Ticketmaster, has been plagued by ticketing troubles all week due to a convoluted voucher system for public tickets.  

It was hoped that numerous technical problems would be resolved by opening night, but this was not the case. Due to "technical problems,"

media outlets, including Variety, who were supposed to receive opening night tickets from the film's studio — in this case, Netflix — did not

receive them in time for the screening and had to be collected up and brought to their seats by officials for the stream. 

Cameron Bailey, the new CEO of the festival, paid a brief tribute to Queen Elizabeth II during the festival's opening ceremony, just as he did at the film's earlier 5 p.m. screening. "