By Susan O'Neill Posted September 21, 2009, 3:25 PM EDT
TORONTO The 34th Toronto International Film Festival—which wrapped Saturday after 10 days of screenings and sponsored parties—saw performances from the likes of Mary J. Blige, 50 Cent, and the Stills; a red carpet turned into a work of art; and T-shirt-wearing goats penned up outside a private fete for one of George Clooney's two festival films. Here's a look at the highlights—with links to our comprehensive coverage:
TIFF kicked off September 10 with an evolution-themed gala for 3,000 guests at the Liberty Grand, held in honour of Jon Amiel's opening film Creation. But things really kicked into high gear during the festival's opening weekend, which included a fund-raiser for the charity Artists for Peace and Justice that saw celebrities dipping their feet in red paint to walk a carpet created by New York artist Peter Tunney. The carpet became a mural that read “Peace and Justice.”
On the Bridle Path, an exclusive neighbourhood in north Toronto, goats in two pens wore T-shirts that read “Don't stare at me” outside a home known as the Glass House, the site of the after-party for The Men Who Stare at Goats, starring George Clooney, Ewan McGregor, and Jeff Bridges.
The Stills performed at luxury retailer Holt Renfrew's first-ever off-site TIFF party, and Mary J. Blige took the stage at a benefit supporting the charity OneXOne while 50 Cent appeared at Panorama for Natural Selection's first TIFF event.
Oprah Winfrey, executive producer of the audience favourite Precious, walked the red carpet at Roy Thomson Hall for the film's gala screening but was a no-show at a pre-film cocktail reception at the Royal Ontario Museum.
Amfar partnered with Dignitas International for the first Cinema Against AIDS Toronto event.
In Style and the Hollywood Foreign Press Association returned to the Windsor Arms for their 10th annual festival party, and TIFF organizers hosted a series of free concerts and screenings at Yonge-Dundas Square.