Toronto Film Festival Considers Onsite and Online ‘Digital Innovations’ for September Fest

TIFF 2020 runs Sept. 10-20

Last Updated: April 2, 2020 @ 8:00 AM

The Toronto International Film Festival is considering both onsite as well as digital options for its 2020 festival set to take place between Sept. 10-20, the festival’s co-heads said in a video statement Thursday.

Joana Vicente, executive director and co-head and Cameron Bailey, artistic director and co-head, said they have taken a financial hit after being forced to close cinemas in Toronto and are working closely with other festivals around the world that have already been canceled or postponed.

Vicente and Bailey are considering all options, including taking some events online in order to prevent the spread of the coronavirus should the pandemic continue into the fall.

“We recognize that in planning for the Festival now, there is still uncertainty about what people coming together will look like come September. This is why we are looking at both onsite and digital innovations that will provide options that will deliver for our audiences, support filmmakers and our partners, and bolster the industry.” Vicente and Bailey said in a joint video statement.

TIFF recently launched a Stay-at-Home Cinema offering in partnership with the Crave to screen films digitally and kicked off the events last week with a screening of “The Princess Bride” followed by a live-stream of a Q&A with Mandy Patinkin.

The non-profit adds that if you already have tickets to a canceled or postponed event through TIFF, TIFF will be in touch with you “directly” about other options.

TIFF has been forced to close its five movie screens at its Bell Lightbox headquarters amid the coronavirus crisis.

Among the other major film festivals to be impacted by the pandemic have included SXSW and Tribeca, both of which were canceled, and Cannes, which was set for this May but has been postponed but is eyeing potential dates in late June.

“Community, Art and Film have the ability to give us hope and to highlight the similarities of our global experience as human beings. Know that we are all in this together, and only together can we bring about positive change. Thank you for your tireless work, strength, and love,” Vicente and Bailey said in the statement. “Our doors will open again, and we look forward to welcoming you back. Until then, stay safe, and take care.”

Watch the full statement below:

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