Toronto International Film Festival


The Toronto International Film Festival was first launched as the Toronto Festival of Festivals, collecting the best films from other film festivals around the world and showing them to eager audiences in Toronto. Founded by Bill Marshall, Dusty Cohl, and Henk Van der Kolk, the inaugural event took place from October 18 through 24, 1976. That first year, 35,000 filmgoers watched 127 films from 30 countries presented in ten programmes. Piers Handling has been the festival's director and CEO since 1994, while Noah Cowan became co-director of TIFF in 2004. In late 2007, Cowan became the artistic director of TIFF Bell Lightbox, while longtime programmer Cameron Bailey succeeded as co-director. As of 2013, Bailey is now the artistic director of the Toronto International Film Festival, as well as TIFF Bell Lightbox's year round programming.

TIFF was once centred on the Yorkville neighbourhood, but the Toronto Entertainment District later gained a greater level of prominence.[10][11] TIFF is known for the celebrity buzz it brings to the area with international media setting up near its restaurants and stores for photos and interviews with the stars. In 2010, TIFF opened its permanent headquarters, TIFF Bell Lightbox, a year-round home for the appreciation of film in the heart of downtown Toronto.

TIFF has grown, steadily adding initiatives throughout the years. TIFF Cinematheque (formerly Cinematheque Ontario) and the Film Reference Library (FRL) opened in 1990. The TIFF Kids International Film Festival (formerly Sprockets) launched in 1998. Film Circuit began exhibiting independent and Canadian films in under-serviced cities across Canada in 1994.

Key dates [12] of the TIFF come in late August (Official Film Schedule release) and early September (tickets go on sale first to the Patron Circle Members, TIFF Members, TIFF Insiders, and only then to the public).