The popcorn's swept up, the red carpets are rolled away and the stars make a quick exit pursued by paparazzi. Now what happens to the films themselves?
Many, especially the galas, have already been slotted for theatrical release and will be rolled out over the next few months during the prestigious awards season. (See Calendar, this page and Road To Oscar, page 3)
Other films arrive at the festival hoping, like eager puppies, to be bought up by kind and wealthy owners. One of the most famous instances of a good buy was Paul Haggis's Crash, which was purchased at the festival by Lionsgate in 2004, got released in May 2005 and then... well, the rest is Oscar history.
TIFF success isn't always measured in prestigious awards. Back at TIFF 2002, a then unknown director named Eli Roth found his debut film, the gory Cabin Fever, involved in a bloody bidding war. Lionsgate (again!) purchased the film - part of the fest's Midnight Madness series - and it went on to become the most profitable horror flick of 2003. And of course, Roth went on to premiere his next film, the controversial Hostel, at Midnight Madness in 2005.
Another thing to keep in mind is that some films that screen at the festival aren't even in a "final" state.
Back in 2005, Cameron Crowe's Elizabethtown received scathing reviews when a 135-minute version screened for the press. He had only a few weeks between this disaster and the film's theatrical release, and ended up cutting 12 minutes. The film still didn't work; maybe that early bad buzz killed it.
Last year's festival opener, Jeremy Podeswa's Fugitive Pieces, screened in a finished state, but its ending was altered - most say to its detriment - when it came out theatrically in the spring. Perhaps the original ending will be restored on DVD.
Speaking of DVDs, they'll often be the only place you'll find festival films that slip through the theatrical distribution cracks.
Last year, I sat through a stinker called Romulus, My Father and wasn't surprised that it eventually showed up at my local video store, where it deserves to collect dust.
But often some pretty wonderful films screen at TIFF, do the film fest circuit for a while and end up as DVDs, their boxes full of international praise.
This is the case with worthy foreign films like those by the Taiwanese auteur Tsai Ming-Liang (The Wayward Cloud, I Don't Want To Sleep Alone).
Which is another reason why you should bypass the films you know are going to be released and seek out the hidden gems.