You should sit down, because the Toronto International Film Festival announced its plans for its 46th version of the festival, taking once again a hybrid approach, with an emphasis on in-person and drive-in screenings. The festival will take place from September 9-18, as the festival is “poised to bring the theatrical experience back to life and continue its reputation as both a leader in amplifying under-represented cinematic voices and a bellwether for programming award-winning films from around the globe.”
The festival’s in-person screenings will take place at the TIFF Bell Lightbox, Roy Thomson Hall, the Visa Screening Room at the Princess of Wales Theatre, and Festival Village at the iconic Ontario Place, which is comprised of the Cinesphere IMAX Theatre, Visa Skyline Drive-in, RBC Lakeside Drive-In and the West Island Open Air Cinema. It’s also worth noting that the festival is also extending, for the first time, in-person screenings beyond the province of Ontario and the city of Toronto, with more details to come in the forthcoming months.
The festival’s digital screenings will be presented by Bell, with film screenings on digital TIFF Bell Lightbox available across Canada. It’s worth mentioning that all digital screenings will be closed captioned to increase the accessibility of the festival.
The following twelve films have been announced as a sample of what’s to come during this year’s festival:
- Le Bal des Folles directed by Mélanie Laurent (France) from Amazon Studios
- Benediction, directed by Terence Davies (United Kingdom) from Bankside Films
- Belfast, from director Kenneth Branagh (United Kingdom) from Focus Features
- Charlotte, directed by Eric Warin and Tahir Rana (Canada/Belgium/France) from Elevation Pictures and MK2 Mile End
- Dionne Warwick: Don’t Make Me Over, directed by Dave Wooley, David Heilbroner (USA)
- The Guilty by director Antoine Fuqua (USA) from Netflix
- HBO’s Jagged, a documentary on iconic Canadian singer-songwriter Alanis Morissette, directed by Alison Klayman (USA)
- Lakewood, directed by Philip Noyce (Canada)
- Last Night in Soho, directed by Edgar Wright (United Kingdom) from Focus Features
- Night Raiders, directed by Danis Goulet (Canada/New Zealand) from Elevation Pictures and Samuel Goldwyn Films
- Petite Maman, directed by Céline Sciamma (France) from Elevation Pictures and NEON
- The Starling by director Theodore Melfi (USA) from Netflix.
The Festival’s Gala and Special Presentations presented by Visa, will be announced on July 20.
The festival will also be presenting Denis Villeneuve’s highly anticpated Dune, as a world exclusive IMAX special event, simultaneously at the Cinesphere theater in Ontario Place and in Montreal (location TBA, but I’m willing to bet it’s going to be the IMAX theater at the science center or the Banque Scotia IMAX).
On this year’s lineup, TIFF Executive Director and Co-Head Joana Vicente mentioned that “It is so powerful to be able to share these films with Festival-goers in theatres.”, but that due to remaining border closures, “We believe that digital access is an important part of providing accessibility to audiences and will be vital to the future of film festivals. This inclusivity across all our offerings helps to ensure that, no matter where you are located, you can participate in the Festival.”
On the festival’s ambitious plans to host in-person screening, Dr. Peter Nord, TIFF’s consultative partner on health & safety during COVID-19, explained that ““Canada’s first-dose immunization rate has surpassed the US, and recently reached the best rates in the world. As of today in Toronto, more than 75% of adults have received their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and 25% have received their second dose. We fully anticipate that by the time the Festival arrives, all Ontarians will have the opportunity to be fully vaccinated. Public health indicators, such as hospitalizations, ICU occupancy, and case rates indicate that we’re on the right — and safe — path to fully reopening. In addition, audiences will confidently be able to enjoy in-cinema screenings by maintaining a safe physical distance and wearing a mask.”
Ticket info: Several ticket options are available to audiences, from single film tickets for in-person screenings to packages for digital film screenings that allow access for up to 20 digital films. Digital ticket package sales start June 30 for TIFF’s Contributors Circle Members and all details are available at tiff.net/tickets.