- NEW YORK (AP)
The Toronto International Film Festival is planning an extensive in-person festival in September, a year after turning to virtual red carpets and outdoor screenings because of the pandemic.
Festival organizers announced Wednesday that the 45th edition of TIFF will take place Sept. 9-18 and return to in-person screenings in many of its usual downtown Toronto venues, like the TIFF Bell Lightbox, Roy Thomson Hall, and the Princess of Wales Theatre.
Organizers acknowledged those plans are hopeful and dependent on improving health conditions. Canada’s reopening has gone slower in the United States and Europe. Indoor dining in Ontario is still not allowed. Last week, Canada announced that nonessential travel from the U.S. would remain prohibited until at least July 21. But after a slow start, vaccinations have sped up in Canada.
With those factors in mind, TIFF plans to go ahead with a hybrid model, including a robust digital platform.
“While the world is definitely moving towards a degree of normalcy, many of our industry and press colleagues may not be able to travel across international borders. In response, we have brought back the TIFF Digital Cinema Pro platform,” said Joana Vicente, co-head of the festival. “We believe that digital access is an important part of providing accessibility to audiences and will be vital to the future of film festivals. This inclusivity across all our offerings helps to ensure that, no matter where you are located, you can participate in the festival.”
The festival will announce its main lineup late next month, but it offered a sampling consisting of a dozen films to play at TIFF this year: Le Bal des Folles directed by Mélanie Laurent (France) from Amazon Studios; Benediction, directed by Terence Davies (United Kingdom) from Bankside Films; Belfast, from director Kenneth Branagh (United Kingdom) from Focus Features; Charlotte, directed by Eric Warin and Tahir Rana (Canada/Belgium/France) from Elevation Pictures and MK2 Mile End; Dionne Warwick: Don’t Make Me Over, directed by Dave Wooley, David Heilbroner (USA); The Guilty by director Antoine Fuqua (USA) from Netflix; HBO’s Jagged, documentary on iconic Canadian singer-songwriter Alanis Morissette, directed by Alison Klayman (USA); Lakewood, directed by Philip Noyce (Canada); Last Night in Soho, directed by Edgar Wright (United Kingdom) from Focus Features; Night Raiders, directed by Danis Goulet (Canada/New Zealand) from Elevation Pictures and Samuel Goldwyn Films; Petite Maman, directed by Céline Sciamma (France) from Elevation Pictures and NEON; and The Starling by director Theodore Melfi (USA) from Netflix. The Festival’s Gala and Special Presentations presented by Visa, will be announced on July 20. Films selected for TIFF’s programs — Contemporary World Cinema presented by Sun Life, Discovery, TIFF Docs presented by A&E Indie Films, Midnight Madness, Primetime, and Wavelengths — will be announced July 28. TIFF Short Cuts and the Platform Program will be announced August 11.
TIFF has also announced that Canadian filmmaker Denis Villeneuve’s Dune will screen as a World Exclusive IMAX Special Event at the Cinesphere Theatre at Ontario Place. The film, based on Frank Herbert’s seminal novel and featuring an impressive all-star ensemble cast, will be showcased in Toronto and Montreal, in partnership with Warner Bros. Canada and venue partner Cineplex. Dune, from Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Pictures, is in theatres nationwide this fall.