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TIFF's 2020 Industry Conference promises candid conversations and exciting perspectives

Talent Development Initiatives take centre stage with Filmmaker Lab, Talent Accelerator, and TIFF Fellows
AUGUST 25, 2020

TORONTO — TIFF announced today a detailed look at the 2020 Industry Conference. The five-day event, taking place September 10–14 during the Festival, will inspire and incite discussions for creative and business entrepreneurship. The Conference is an inspiring professional development opportunity for delegates to experience high-profile speakers, intimate conversations, provocative panel discussions, and user-friendly presentations designed to help build resourceful, innovative, and financially sustainable business practices.

“This is a pivotal moment in recognizing the unsung heroes, whose work will pave the way to a more sustainable and equitable industry,” said Geoff Macnaughton, Senior Director, Industry & Theatrical. “This year’s Conference will be a catalyst for change, examining new trends and championing diversity, racial equality, and gender parity. Talent Development continues to be a cornerstone of TIFF’s year-round work and we are exceptionally proud of the programme we’ve curated for the participants, and are excited to see them grow”

The 2020 Industry Conference is comprised of the following programming:

Each year, the Conference features Master Classes from some of the most distinctive, esteemed voices in film and television. This year’s Master Class guests include Viola Davis and Julius Tennon, Luca Guadagnino, Ted Hope, and dream hampton, all speaking on their remarkable, long-lasting, and varied career paths. The Hollywood Reporter is a media partner of Master Classes 2020.

Dialogues are conversations between influential storytellers on the art and craft of filmmaking. This year’s guests include Tracy Oliver, Stella Meghie, Lenny Abrahamson, and Shola Lynch sharing their expertise on writing, directing, showrunning, and documentary filmmaking alongside a host of other talented filmmakers. Variety is a media partner of Dialogues 2020.

Perspectives are panel discussions between filmmakers and industry professionals on the current state and future of the industry. This year’s speakers — including Chelsea Winstanley, Misha Green, Nina Jacobson, and Ben Roberts — will explore a wide range of topics, including narrative sovereignty; women creators making waves in the horror realm; how race-based data can be used to drive anti-racist action in the screen industries; the ins and outs of co-productions, using Viggo Mortensen’s directorial debut and 2020 Festival selection, Falling (Canada/United Kingdom), as a case study; A-list producers’ secrets to success; and film financing in the shadow of a pandemic. Screen International is a Media partner of Perspectives 2020.

Special Industry Event is a one-on-one talk with filmmaker Aaron Sorkin, who takes us on a deep dive into the creative process behind the upcoming film The Trial of the Chicago 7.

Film professionals can participate digitally in this year’s Industry Conference and Festival by registering for one of two pass options: the Digital Talks Pass — provides access to online Conference events on the Bell Digital Talks platform — or the Digital Pro Pass — includes the online Conference events plus digital screenings of titles in and out of Selection. Both passes include online networking and business tools for producers, buyers, sales agents, and film creators at large. Industry registration closes September 2.

Talent Development

TIFF is proud to announce the following participants for this year’s flagship initiatives:

TIFF FILMMAKER LAB provides an immersive learning experience. This year, 20 directors have been selected to participate — 10 from Canada and 10 from around the world. The Lab is designed to be inspirational, bringing the filmmakers into contact with some of the finest creative talent in the world. The programme consists of extended, informal conversations with invited guests, including directors, producers, writers, and other film artists.

The 2020 TIFF FILMMAKER LAB participants are: Maha Al-Saati, Yuhi Amuli, Tammes Bernstein, Antoine Bourges, Jorge Cadena, Pier-Philippe Chevigny, Marilyn Cooke, Álvaro Gago Díaz, Shawn Gerrard, Lillah Halla, Meredith Hama-Brown, Sasha Leigh Henry, Fawzia Mirza, Irene Moray, Asantewaa Prempeh, Simon Ryninks, Josephine Stewart-Te Whiu, S.M. Turrell, Jeff Wong, and Asia Youngman. The Filmmaker Lab Governor is Atom Egoyan, and guests speakers are Hirokazu Kore-eda, Rian Johnson, Nadine Labaki, Kasi Lemmons, David Cronenberg, Wim Wenders, Eliza Hittman, Fernando Frias, Paul Federbush, Ramy Youssef, and Hiam Abbass.

Filmmaker Lab is supported by Telefilm Canada, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the RBC Female Creator Initiative, Anne-Marie Canning and the Hollywood Foreign Press Association.

TIFF TALENT ACCELERATOR is a customized, year-long development experience for six promising Canadian creators who are women. Now in its second year, the programme provides year-round support to two directors, two writers, and two producers who are chosen by TIFF Industry for a customized development experience. This year’s TIFF TALENT ACCELERATOR participants are: directors Sasha Leigh Henry and Asia Youngman (also part of this year’s Filmmaker Lab); producers Lindsay Blair Goeldner and Priscilla Galvez; and writers Luis De Filippis and Adrianna DiLonardo.

The TIFF Talent Accelerator programme is made possible by TIFF’s Share Her Journey initiative and is generously supported by the RBC Female Creator Initiative. Participants of the Talent Accelerator programme receive fellowship funding presented by Netflix.

New this year, the TIFF Hudson’s Bay Foundation Fellowship is made possible thanks to the Hudson’s Bay Foundation’s support of TIFF’s For the Love of Film Fund. The Fellowship, which champions diversity and inclusion in filmmaking, supports two emerging creators participating in TIFF Filmmaker Lab.

The TIFF Canada Goose® Fellowship is made possible thanks to Canada Goose®'s support of Share Her Journey, TIFF’s commitment to increasing participation, skills, and opportunities for women behind and in front of the camera. The Fellowship supports three women who are emerging creators participating in TIFF Filmmaker Lab.

The TIFF Fellows for 2020 are:

  • Shawn Gerrard – TIFF Hudson’s Bay Foundation Fellow
  • Jeff Wong – TIFF Hudson’s Bay Foundation Fellow
  • Meredith Hama-Brown – TIFF Canada Goose® Fellow
  • Josephine Stewart-Te Whiu – TIFF Canada Goose® Fellow
  • Asantewaa Prempeh – TIFF Canada Goose® Fellow
  • Fawzia Mirza – Share Her Journey Fellow
  • Marilyn Cooke – Share Her Journey Fellow
  • Irene Moray – Share Her Journey Fellow
  • Maha Al-Saati – Share Her Journey Fellow
  • Lillah Halla – Share Her Journey Fellow
  • Asia Youngman – Netflix Talent Accelerator Fellow
  • Sasha Leigh Henry – Netflix Talent Accelerator Fellow
  • Adrianna DiLonardo – Netflix Talent Accelerator Fellow
  • Lindsay Blair Goeldner – Netflix Talent Accelerator Fellow
  • Luis De Filippis – Netflix Talent Accelerator Fellow
  • Priscilla Galvez – Netflix Talent Accelerator Fellow

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. The Province’s Stage 3 reopening guidelines currently cap a movie theatre’s occupancy at 50 guests per cinema regardless of the total capacity of the theatre. Additionally, TIFF has partnered with Medcan, a global health care 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 health care across the continuum of health, including its “Safe at Work System” helping organizations navigate the pandemic.

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