TIFF Goes Hybrid
(June 24, 2020 – Toronto, ON) It’s the news Toronto festival-goers have been waiting for. What would TFF do in the face of a continuing, if diminishing pandemic? So far this year all other Toronto-based festivals have opted for a digital version. TIFF is hoping to have it both ways. Actual and Virtual.
In a statement this morning the festival announced that “The 45th edition of the Toronto International Film Festival will take place September 10–19, with 50 feature films that represent a full range of star-driven movies, first-rate international cinema, documentaries, and Canadian creativity. It’s a Festival tailored to fit the moment, with physical screenings at marquee venues and drive-ins, digital screenings, virtual red carpets, digital press conferences, and industry talks.”
They plan to do it by using a lot of common sense and trusting patrons to follow the rules. Their statement goes on to say “Over the first five days, TIFF’s full slate of films will premiere as physical, socially-distanced screenings. Festival-goers can enjoy drive-ins and outdoor experiences that take them beyond the movie theatre. For the first time in its history, TIFF will launch a digital platform for the Festival, affording new opportunities to connect with audiences beyond Toronto. Over the 10 days, the platform will host digital screenings for all 50 films, as well as numerous talks and special events.
For 2020, TIFF will be welcoming 50 celebrated filmmakers and actors invited to help the deliver a strong Festival this year. They will include Ava DuVernay, Taika Waititi, Anurag Kashyap, Nicole Kidman, Martin Scorsese, Nadine Labaki, Alfonso Cuarón, Tantoo Cardinal, Riz Ahmed, Rian Johnson, Jason Reitman, Isabelle Huppert, Claire Denis, Atom Egoyan, Priyanka Chopra, Viggo Mortensen, Zhang Ziyi, David Oyelowo, Lulu Wang, Rosamund Pike, Sarah Gadon, and Denis Villeneuve, to name a a few.
The pandemic has hit TIFF hard,” said Cameron Bailey, Artistic Director and Co-Head, TIFF (pictured above in 2016). “But we’ve responded by going back to our original inspiration — to bring the very best in film to the broadest possible audience. Our teams have had to rethink everything, and open our minds to new ideas. In countless video calls over the past three months we have rebuilt our Festival for 2020 drawing on our five decades of commitment to strong curation, support for filmmakers, and engagement with audiences.
We have listened to this year’s urgent calls for greater representation of under-represented voices. You’ll see that this year at the Festival. And we have watched as audiences have embraced cinema’s ability to transport them through screens of all sizes. You’ll see that too. We’re excited to present thoughtful, high-impact programming this September that reflects our belief that there’s no stopping great storytelling.”
“TIFF has a proud history of programming award-winning films, 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, TIFF. “And this year we’ve added new innovations and ways to give back to the community. In doing so, we’re aiming to advance what a film festival is capable of delivering — for audiences and the film industry. We could never have anticipated the global seismic changes we would be facing in 2020. We tapped into the original spirit of the Festival from when it began in 1976 as our guiding light. The distilled edition of TIFF 2020 reflects a deep love of film, passion for our loyal audiences, commitment to the industry, and a whole lot of heart.”
Information regarding film selection, screening venues, ticket sales for both Members and the public, accreditation, and TIFF’s Industry Conference will be available in the coming weeks.