What is one thing audiences can expect from your film picks?
To this day, it's the most memorable film discovery you've made?
Krysztof Kieślowski's The Decalogue, in '89.
I'll bankroll it; you pitch the film:
A blitzed-out Canadian army veteran returns home to cottage country from Afghanistan. After meeting a young woman, he escapes into the wilderness to confront his demons... I won't spoil the rest of it for you.
What classic film would you remake?
Sunrise (1927). It's a classic triangular love story.
What movie character captures your spirit best?
Jean-Paul Belmondo as Pierrot in Pierrot le fou.
Piers Handling is the Director and Chief Executive Officer of TIFF. He has held this position since 1994, responsible for leading both the operational and artistic growth of the organization. TIFF has a $33 million annual operating budget and employs more than 150 full-time staff. For the last three years, TIFF has been named one of the Greater Toronto Area’s Top 50 employers.
Under his direction, the organization has grown to become an internationally renowned cultural institution which has just successfully opened TIFF Bell Lightbox, a permanent home for all of TIFF's year-round film programming: film screenings, an exhibitions gallery and a variety of educational and learning programmes. He led the $196 million fundraising campaign in support of this project.
Prior to joining the Toronto International Film Festival in 1982, Mr. Handling began his career at the Canadian Film Institute (CFI), ultimately becoming Deputy Director. After leaving the CFI, he taught Canadian cinema at Carleton University in Ottawa and Queen’s University in Kingston. He has published extensively on Canadian cinema.
Mr. Handling is currently Chair of FAME (Festivals and Major Events), sits on the Board of the Canadian Film Centre, and is a member of the Minister of Culture’s Advisory Council for Arts and Culture (MACAC). Previously he was on the Board of Tafelmusik and Luminato. He has been honoured with the “Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres”, France’s highest cultural insignia. In 2003, Handling was named CEO of the Year by the Canadian Public Relations Society (Toronto), recognizing for the first time, a CEO from the cultural not-for-profit sector. In 2006, he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate in Law from Ryerson University. In 2011, Mr. Handling was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Laws degree from York University and an Honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts from OCAD University.