Nepal | July 11, 2020

Toronto Film Festival announce scaled down edition, to go virtual due to coronavirus pandemic

Himalayan News Service
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KATHMANDU: The Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) is set to look different this year as it has announced a scaled down edition that will be a mix of in-person, socially distanced events, drive-in screenings, outdoor events as well as virtual events.

The event will be held from September 10-19, with plans contingent on guidelines and approval from local health officials.

TIFF, traditionally regarded as one of most significant launching pads for awards contenders, this year will showcase 50 feature films, down from more than 300 last year.

The first five days of the festival will see the films premiere as in-person, socially distanced events. Drive-in screenings and outdoor events are others programmes of the festival. And TIFF will launch a digital platform for the first time, with screenings, talks and events taking place over the festival’s 10 days, according to Los Angeles Times.

Some of these films include Ammonite, directed by Francis Lee of God’s Own Country renown; Another Round, from Danish auteur Thomas Vinterberg (Denmark); Concrete Cowboys, an adaptation of the novel Ghetto Cowboy from director Ricky Staub; Bruised, the directorial debut film of Oscar-winner Halle Berry (USA); and True Mothers by Japanese filmmaker Naomi Kawase. More titles will be announced over the summer, according to ANI.

“The pandemic has hit TIFF hard, 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’re excited to present thoughtful, high-impact programming this September that reflects our belief that there’s no stopping great storytelling, Los Angeles Times quoted Cameron Bailey, Artistic Director and Co-head of TIFF as saying.

Joana Vicente, Executive Director and Co-head of TIFF was further quoted as saying in a statement, “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. 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.”

TIFF generates more than $200 million in annual economic activity for Toronto and Ontario, which helped spur the festival’s organisers to come up with a plan for operating safely during COVID-19.

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