09/06/2013 05:22 EDT | Updated 11/06/2013 05:12 EST

Surviving TIFF: Best tips from insiders, directors and festivalgoers

With a program that typically surpasses 350 films, myriad screenings across a large span of the busy downtown core and a complex ticketing system, the Toronto International Film Festival can seem daunting for first-timers, to say the least.

What's the best way to navigate the festival?

Click on the video to watch TIFF insiders — including the festival's chiefs, programmers, filmmakers and avid audience members who return each year — share their personal advice on the best way to survive and enjoy the film frenzy.

Tune into The National on Saturday for Zulekha Nathoo's report, as she tracks a day in the life of die-hard TIFF fans: from the cinephiles whose lives revolve around movie screenings during the fest to the devoted star-gazers willing to weather anything for a brush with celebrity.

The Toronto International Film Festival continues through Sept. 15.