TIFF announces industry offerings and new slate of Festival Ambassadors

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TIFF announces Industry offerings and new slate of Festival Ambassadors

JULY 23, 2020

TORONTO — TIFF announced today the new digital look of its Industry structure and programmes at the 2020 Festival. All Industry engagement and opportunities will be online, including business and talent development and its Industry Conference, taking place September 10–15.

“In a time of disruption, professionals from around the world still look for occasions to come together, share innovative ideas, buy and sell content, and find creative ways to collectively forge ahead towards a safer, healthier,and inclusive future,” said Geoff Macnaughton, Senior Director of Industry & Theatrical, TIFF. “This year, delegates can expect to find community, connection, inspiration, and talent — the foundation that will serve as the way forward.”

All Press & Industry screenings of films in and out of Official Selection will be online, on a professional version of TIFF’s digital screening platform, developed by Shift72. National promotional agencies will be offered sections on the platform to promote films, talent, and initiatives in lieu of a physical Industry Centre. Film professionals can participate digitally in this year’s Festival by registering for one of two pass options, depending on their professional needs: the Digital Pro Pass is designed for distributors, exhibitors, sales agents, talent agents, producers, and writer-directors, while the new Digital Talks Pass is ideal for new filmmakers, actors, students, and scholars. Registration for the Digital Talks Pass opens Monday, July 27. For more details on passes and how to maximize the Industry’s online Festival experience, click here. Industry delegates can register for the early-bird rate until Friday, July 24.

The Conference, now online, will feature a smaller lineup of talks than previous years, and will comprise Master Classes, Dialogues, Perspectives, Microsessions, and Spotlights. Speakers will include TIFF Ambassadors in addition to other leading and emerging voices in the film industry. More information on Industry programming and Talent Development programmes will be announced in August.

TIFF previously announced a selection of Festival Ambassadors, a new element that rallies acclaimed filmmakers and actors to help TIFF celebrate this year’s unique event. The latest additions include: Hiam Abbass, Haifaa Al-Mansour, Shamier Anderson, Darren Aronofsky, Olivier Assayas, Gael García Bernal, Derek Cianfrance, Mark Cousins, Julie Delpy, Barry Jenkins, Jia Zhang-ke, Barbara Kopple, Hirokazu Kore-eda, Brie Larson, Kasi Lemmons, Tatiana Maslany, Carey Mulligan, Genevieve Nnaji, Alanis Obomsawin, Natalie Portman, Zachary Quinto, Isabella Rossellini, Albert Serra, Wim Wenders, Olivia Wilde, and Donnie Yen.

Already announced ambassadors include: Riz Ahmed, Tantoo Cardinal, Priyanka Chopra, Alfonso Cuarón, Claire Denis, Ava DuVernay, Atom Egoyan, Sarah Gadon, Isabelle Huppert, Rian Johnson, Anurag Kashyap, Nicole Kidman, Nadine Labaki, Viggo Mortensen, David Oyelowo, Rosamund Pike, Jason Reitman, Martin Scorsese, Denis Villeneuve, Taika Waititi, Lulu Wang, and Zhang Ziyi.

Many of the Festival Ambassadors will engage with audiences through interactive digital experiences and events. For instance, filmmaker, producer, and screenwriter Derek Cianfrance, will lead a Dialogues session and actor and producer David Oyelowo will be a guest speaker as part of the TIFF Rising Stars programme.

TIFF’s Media Inclusion Initiative will also return for its third year. The programme will welcome 30 new under-represented journalists into the press corps who are covering TIFF for the first time. TIFF’s mission is to grow the total contingent of self-identified under-represented journalists in the accredited pool to 60% in 2020. Special focus will be given to Black, Indigenous, and people of colour (BIPOC), as well as those who identify as women, transgender, non-binary, two-spirited, gay, queer, bisexual, asexual, and/or lesbian and those who have a disability. Applications will open via the press site on July 29, 2020.

TIFF continues to work closely with the Province of Ontario, the City of Toronto, and public health officials on the safe execution of the Festival, with its number-one priority being the health and well-being of both Festival filmgoers and the residents of the entire community. Additionally, TIFF has partnered with Medcan, a global healthcare leader providing medical expertise, consultation and health inspiration to achieve its mission of helping people ‘Live Well for Life’. Based on the pillars of evidence-based care, exceptional client service, and the latest in technology, Medcan’s team of over 90 physicians and specialists support employee healthcare across the continuum of health, including with its ‘Safe at Work System’ helping organizations navigate the pandemic.

"Medcan is thrilled to partner with TIFF to support the delivery of a safe and successful Festival, to prepare for contingencies and inspire confidence in TIFF audiences that the context of COVID-19 has been thoroughly contemplated," said Dr. Peter Nord, Chief Medical Officer, Medcan.

The presentation of TIFF’s traditional in-person film festival will be contingent on the Province’s reopening framework to ensure that Festival venues and workplace practices meet and exceed public health guidelines. The worldwide health crisis has affected everyone working in the cultural industries, and TIFF has been severely impacted. Its role in the ecosystem of the film industry was the impetus to move forward, to deliver a film festival that inspires and engages audiences, and to serve as a beacon of hope for Toronto, for filmmakers, and for the international film industry. TIFF is the cornerstone of a $2-billion-a-year film industry in Toronto, generates more than $200 million in annual economic activity for the City of Toronto and the Province of Ontario, and is the chief market to launch Canadian film content into the global marketplace.

The 45th Toronto International Film Festival runs September 10–19, 2020.