A sign bearing the Toronto International Film Festival logo is carried on a forklift down street in Toronto as preparations are made for the festival's opening night on September 7, 2017. The Toronto International Film Festival is reimagining itself as a digital and physical event this year. (The Canadian Press/Chris Young)

Toronto International Film Festival to go on as physical and digital event

The Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), which is dedicated to showcasing the best of international and Canadian cinema, is going to have digital events, such as screenings, talks, and press conferences in addition to physical and drive in screenings, according to a post on their website yesterday.

“The worldwide health crisis has affected everyone working in the cultural industries, and TIFF has been severely impacted,” the post on TIFF’s website said.

TIFF happens annually for 10 days every September, and this year will be no different as the festival begins on Sept. 10 and will end on Sept. 19. However what is different this year is that  festival goers will be physically on site for only five days, with the rest of the festival taking place virtually.

During the opening five days of the festival, TIFF said that they will have physical, socially distanced screenings, drive-ins and other outdoor activities. 

But for the first time, TIFF is also hosting a digital version of the event over the full 10 days of the festival which will include digital screenings, talks, and special events. They added that screenings for members of the film industry and press will happen on TIFF’s digital platform.

“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,” Cameron Bailey, the artistic director and co-head of TIFF said. “Our teams have had to rethink everything, and open our minds to new ideas.”

TIFF also said that they are working with Ontario’s health officials to make sure that the festival is safe, with the number one priority being the health and well-being of festival goers and residents of the community. 

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