Film production and promotion globally has been one of the casualties of COVID-19 pandemic. Like theatrical exhibitions, film festivals have been hit. The Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) is adapting to the testing times by planning its digital version. For the first time in its history, TIFF will launch a digital platform for the event. Over 10 days, digital screenings, as well as numerous talks and special events will be held, many online, so that the event doesn't compromise the precautions to contain the pandemic.
TIFF, which commenced in 1976, is one of the well-attended film festivals anywhere. It is estimated nearly half a million attend the event held in the Canadian city.
According to Variety, the mega event, TIFF unspools between September 10 through September 19 and will include screenings of roughly 50 films during its initial five days. The following plan is subject to approval by the city and provincial health officials.
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.
For its 45th year, TIFF will be welcoming 50 celebrated filmmakers and actors as TIFF ambassadors. It will include Ava DuVernay, Taika Waititi, Anurag Kashyap, Priyanka Chopra Jonas, Nicole Kidman, Martin Scorsese, Nadine Labaki, Alfonso Cuaron, Riz Ahmed, Rian Johnson, Jason Reitman, Isabelle Huppert and Claire Denis.
TIFF generates more than 200 million USD 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.
Last year, Malayalam movies Moothon directed by Geetu Mohandas and Lijo Jose Pellisery's Jalikkattu had it's premier at TIFF.