12 SEP 2017: For a moment TIFF central in downtown Toronto morphed into Paris. There beneath a blazing sun illuminated by a CN Tower backdrop and the crowds of cinefiles shuffling by Festival Street stood that beacon of French-dom, that glory to Paris: The Eiffel Tower.  

The reason: Air Bistro Paris has flown into town.

Impossible to miss with its four-metre-plus structure, Air France’s Air Bistro Paris, is a fun take on the legendary Parisian-café-style experience welcoming Festival-goers with samples of macarons et bien sur bubbly (non-alcoholic) this past weekend.

Showing its unbridled love for cinema and the French lifestyle Atout France together with Air France opened Air Bistro Paris during a ribbon cutting ceremony which also had invited media and industry partners learn about some of the fall happenings in the City of Light as well as details to two contests.

“Do you prefer Cannes or Paris?”

The airline, a longtime partner of the prestigious Cannes Film Festival in France, has also teamed up with Atout France, in a joint promotional contest called, “Do you Prefer Cannes or Paris?” that also launched for TIFF, and ends on September 24.

The “Win a Trip to Cannes 2018” prize includes two business-class tickets from Toronto to Nice on Air France, 1 night at the Carlton Cannes hotel (meals included), and a 7-night stay at Club Med’s Opio Resort in Provence. Travel dates are May 5-12, 2018. An extra bonus is attending the red carpet soiree at next year’s International Cannes Film Festival Gala.

The second prize “#ParisJetaime” is a 5-night trip to Paris which includes two round-trip business class tickets on Air France, accommodations at the Secret de Paris Hotel (breakfasts included), a complimentary dinner for two at the La Reserve Paris hotel’s Le Gabriel which is the famous two-star Michelin resto including 2-day Paris Museum Passes, and a visit to the Harcourt Studios in Paris.

Air France like the French nation has had a love-in with celluloid. Ever since the airline screened its first inflight film in 1966, cinema has been an essential travel experience on board the national carrier.

Air France: TIFF’s Official Airline

It’s then fitting that Air France for the first time is a sponsor of TIFF 2017’s Platform programme which TIFF sources say embodies the next generation of masters of cinema.

On the final festival day, the winner will be awarded the Toronto Platform Prize at a free screening presented by Air France on September 17. “Film wise, we are proud to be sponsoring the Platform competition,” says Roland Coppens, commercial director for Air France-KLM Canada at the ribbon cutting ceremony held on the opening day of TIFF. Marc Trouyet, the General Consul of France in Toronto was also present.

Rain or Shine

The French film-themed ribbon cutting ceremony was momentarily delayed due to a rapturous rain shower but that mild setback did not deter the gracious hosts. Rain or shine the French cast of dignitaries enlightened umbrella-toting media and industry partners during the storm with exciting announcements of fall events and reasons why clients ought to book a YYZ-CDG flight aboard Air France.

Air France and the Dreamliner

Starting November 20, clients on this route including other Canadian hubs with an Air France presence will fly in-style aboard the new Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner. “Business passengers will have a wonderful meal created by Chef Daniel Boulud,” noted Roland of the fuel-efficient airplane which has been designed to reduce 20 percent fuel consumption.

He further added the windows are 30 percent larger while the inflight entertainment systems have larger screen sizes: 12 inches in economy and premium, and 16 inch width screens in business class. “Air France operates one of the largest movie theatres in the world with 38,000 personal screens that is equipped with up to 1200 hours of video on demand.”

Event Details

Event guests viewed videos capturing iconic symbols of the City of Light as well as previewing a new video of a bustling bistro programme dubbed Bistronomie (http://ca.france.fr/en/bistro-paris). Started in 2011, this gastronomic experience developed by the Paris Tourist Office showcases 100 addresses representing the rich cuisine in Paris.

“These chefs all have the desire to transform the most beautiful craftsmen products into an authentic, generous and contemporary cuisine. It takes root in our terroir and in the history of Paris, living to the rhythm of its neighbourhoods,” concluded Melanie Paul-Hus, Director for Canada with Atout France, the France Tourism Development Agency.

More Reasons to Fall for Paris

Parisians gear up for cultural and festive outings when the air turns crisp and the leaves change, meaning you’ll see a great assortment of French scarves at events and attractions.

European Heritage Days (September 16 and 17) runs like clockwork. On the third weekend of September each year, numerous monuments in the Paris region many which are rarely seen open to the public.

The Musée des Arts Décoratifs is celebrating the 70th anniversary of the creation of the House of Dior. This lavish and comprehensive exhibition, Christian Dior, Couturier du Rêve, invites visitors on a voyage of discovery through the universe of the House of Dior’s founder and the illustrious couturiers who succeeded him: Yves Saint Laurent, Marc Bohan, Gianfranco Ferré, John Galliano, Raf Simons and, most recently, Maria Grazia Chiuri.

A Dior exhibition will also take place at Toronto’s ROM starting in November, a great way to dive into Dior’s fashion legacy.

More information

France – a Giant Film Set

An average of 10 films are shot in Paris each day, and 100 international productions each year.

The Cote d’Azur hosts the Cannes Film Festival which turned 70 this year.

The world’s first paid public screening of a movie took place in Paris on December 28, 1895, and it was given by the Lumiere brothers, widely regarded as the inventors of the cinematic arts.

More details on Bistronomie 

The full outdoor Feel Paris video For more France travel details see http://ca.france.fr/

For contest details 

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Ilona Kauremszky

A regular contributor to Travel Industry Today, Ilona is a prize winning journalist whose writing pursuits have taken her around the globe.

Read more from Ilona Kauremszky

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