Here's how Toronto International Film Festival will happen this year

As a first in its history, TIFF will launch a digital platform to connect with audiences beyond Toronto.
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A couple of months ago, when Cameron Bailey, the Co-head and Artistic Director of the Toronto International Film Festival, came up virtually for a press meet to say that they haven’t yet ruled out the possibilities of hosting TIFF 2020 on the agreed dates, nobody took the news seriously. In fact, everyone appeared to disapprove of the festival taking place, considering the coronavirus pandemic.

However, TIFF is not going back on its promises. It’s happening finally, this year too! But, not in the usual way and certainly in line with the official safety directives in Canada.TIFF will take place from September 10 to 19.

As Cameron Bailey says, "The great storytelling never ends. Inside every storyteller there’s an urgent need to push limits, change minds, lift voices, drop jaws, draw tears and spark laughter."

Hence, TIFF has decided to go on. The 45th edition of TIFF will take place as announced earlier with 50 feature films representing all sectors, like star-driven, international, documentaries andCanadian creativity. There will be physical screenings at marquee venues, drive-ins and digital screenings along with virtual red carpets and interactive Q & A sessions with the cast and filmmakers.

The first five days will witness TIFF’s full slate of films at socially distanced screenings. So, the organisers have to take the audience out to drive-ins and outdoors, beyond the theatres. As a first in its history, TIFF will launch a digital platform to connect with audiences beyond Toronto. There’ll be special events too, with numerous surprises.

The organisers guarantee that the films will shake you,move you and stay with you with the novel content. The titles announced till now include Ammonite (Dir. Francis Lee, UK), Another Round (Thomas Vinterberg, Denmark), Bruised (Halle Berry, USA), Concrete Cowboys (Ricky Staub, USA), Fauna (Nicolas Pereda, Mexico), Good Joe Bell (Reinaldo Marcus Green, USA), Spring Blossom (Suzanne Lindon, France), and True Mothers (Naomi Kawase,Japan). More titles will be announced in the coming weeks.

"TIFF has a proud history of programming world class movies, expanding the conversation to include a multitude of voices and in creating boundary-pushing initiatives for the industry," said Joana Vicente, Executive Director and Co-head of TIFF. "And, this year too we've added new innovations and ways to give back to the community," she continued.

In addition, TIFF will be welcoming 50 celebrated film personalities to attend various functions. A few of them are Ava DuVernay, Darren Aronofsky, Taika Waititi, Anurag Kashyap, Nicole Kidman, Martin Scorcese, Nadine Labaki, Alfonso Cuaron, Tantoo Cardinal, Riz Ahmed, Rian Johnson, Jason Reitman, Isabelle Huppert, Claire Denis, Atom Egoyan, Priyanka Chopra, Viggo Mortensen, ZhangZiyi, David Oyelowo, Lulu Wang, Rosamund Pike, Sarah Gadon and Denis Villeneuve.

TIFF’s tribute Award, which was started last year, will continue this year too. Meryl Streep, Taika Waititi, Mati Diop and Joaquin Phoenix were the winners last year.

The health crisis has affected every sector of the Canadian industries. TIFF is no exception and has been seriously impacted. But it has an impetus to move forward. A lot of film personalities and serious audiences all over the world are looking at it as a beacon of hope. The $2 billion-a-year- film industry in Canada sees TIFF as a hope to go universal and contribute more than $ 200 million annually to the economic activity of the City of Toronto and its province. Also, it serves as the prime market to launch Canadian films in the global marketplace.

The programming teams are working day and night to create the most memorable experience possible with great diversity in the selection of high-quality movies from all over the world.

The representation of women in TIFF has been applauded and this reiterates its commitment to gender parity for future generations. TIFF has a novel Media Inclusion Initiative to accredit eligible Black, Indigenous, People Of Colour, LGBTQ and women, and amplify their voices in their respective fields of activities. TIFF is offering companies and individuals an opportunity to giftindustry access to 250 under-represented emerging filmmakers from all over the world. Also, it plans to collaborate with its festival counterparts in Vancouver, Venice, Telluride and New York etc., in bringing the best to the cinema audiences.

All the information regarding the titles of movies, screening venues, ticket sales,conferences, press and industrial accreditations etc would be available in the coming weeks.

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