TIFF unveils plans for Festival 2020

There’s no stopping great storytelling. Inside every storyteller is an urgent need to push limits, change minds, lift voices, drop jaws, draw tears, or spark laughter.

For them, stories don’t ask to be told. They demand it.

That’s why TIFF will go on.

The 45th edition of the Toronto International Film Festival will take place September 10–19, with 50 feature films that represent a full range of star-driven movies, first-rate international cinema, documentaries, and Canadian creativity that audiences have come to love and expect from them. It’s a festival tailored to fit the moment, with physical screenings at marquee venues and drive-ins, digital screenings, interactive Q&As with cast and filmmakers, and virtual red carpets.

Over the first five days, TIFF’s full slate of films will premiere as physical, socially-distanced screenings. Festival-goers can enjoy drive-ins and outdoor experiences that take them beyond the movie theatre.

For the first time in its history, TIFF will launch a digital platform for the Festival, affording new opportunities to connect with audiences beyond Toronto. Over the 10 days, the platform will host digital screenings for all 50 films, as well as numerous talks and special events.

Our screens may be all different sizes this year, but films screening at TIFF will have the same impact. They’ll shake you, move you, and stay with you.

Because groundbreaking stories are very much… to be continued.

Information regarding film selection, screening venues, ticket sales for both Members and the public, and TIFF’s Industry Conference will be available in the coming weeks.

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. 

As the 2020 Festival lineup comes together, the programming teams are working to curate the most memorable experience possible for audiences through a diverse selection of the highest quality films from around the globe. Films on offer will reflect first-rate international cinema, documentaries, and Canadian creativity. The representation of women amongst TIFF’s film programmers is reflective of the organization’s continuing commitment to normalizing gender parity and equality for future generations.

TIFF is thrilled to announce that to date, Ammonite, directed by Francis Lee (United Kingdom); Another Round, from director Thomas Vinterberg (Denmark); Bruised, the debut film from director Halle Berry (USA); Concrete Cowboys by filmmaker Ricky Staub (USA); Fauna, from director Nicolás Pereda (Mexico/Canada); Good Joe Bell by director Reinaldo Marcus Green (USA); Spring Blossom, the debut film by director Suzanne Lindon (France); and True Mothers by director Naomi Kawase (Japan) will all screen at this year’s Festival. More titles will be announced over the summer.

“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,” said Cameron Bailey, Artistic Director and Co-Head, TIFF. “Our teams have had to rethink everything, and open our minds to new ideas. In countless video calls over the past three months we have rebuilt our Festival for 2020 drawing on our five decades of commitment to strong curation, support for filmmakers, and engagement with audiences. We have listened to this year’s urgent calls for greater representation of under-represented voices. You’ll see that this year at the Festival. And we have watched as audiences have embraced cinema’s ability to transport them through screens of all sizes. You’ll see that too. We’re excited to present thoughtful, high-impact programming this September that reflects our belief that there’s no stopping great storytelling.”

TIFF has a proud history of programming award-winning films, expanding the conversation to include a multitude of voices, and in creating boundary-pushing initiatives for the industry,” said Joana Vicente, Executive Director and Co-Head, TIFF. “And this year we’ve added new innovations and ways to give back to the community. In doing so, we’re aiming to advance what a film festival is capable of delivering — for audiences and the film industry. We could never have anticipated the global seismic changes we would be facing in 2020. We tapped into the original spirit of the Festival from when it began in 1976 as our guiding light. The distilled edition of TIFF 2020 reflects a deep love of film, passion for our loyal audiences, commitment to the industry, and a whole lot of heart.”

For 2020, TIFF will be welcoming TIFF Ambassadors, 50 celebrated filmmakers and actors invited to help TIFF deliver a strong festival this year for the film industry. They will include Ava DuVernayTaika WaititiAnurag KashyapNicole KidmanMartin ScorseseNadine LabakiAlfonso CuarónTantoo CardinalRiz AhmedRian JohnsonJason ReitmanIsabelle HuppertClaire DenisAtom EgoyanPriyanka ChopraViggo MortensenZhang ZiyiDavid OyelowoLulu WangRosamund PikeSarah Gadon, and Denis Villeneuve, to name a few.

TIFF will also present its annual TIFF Tribute Awards, acknowledging and celebrating outstanding contributors to the film industry. Launched in 2019, the TIFF Tribute Awards honoured, among others, the remarkable talents and contributions of Meryl Streep, Taika Waititi, Mati Diop, and Joaquin Phoenix. This tradition will continue for 2020 and audiences worldwide will be able to experience the Awards virtually. Additional information on the Awards and 2020 honourees will be announced in the coming months.

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