TIFF confirmed on Saturday (7) that new restrictions in place at Scotiabank Theatre Toronto have impacted on the scheduling of its festival selections, as first reported on Screendaily.
The 14-screen site’s owner Cineplex is Canada’s largest exhibitor and is understood to operate a policy whereby it will not play films that do not adhere to the 90-day exclusive theatrical window.
As a result no festival selections on which Netflix or Amazon Studios have North American rights have been programmed at the key venue this year.
“Cineplex has been a great partner of TIFF’s for many years,” TIFF co-heads Cameron Bailey and Joana Vicente said in a joint statement. ”This year, new restrictions were put in place on our use of their Scotiabank Theatres during the Festival. As a result, TIFF scheduled films that do not comply with their traditional theatrical windows, in other venues.”
In what is believed to be the first time an exhibitor’s position on theatrical windowing has affected scheduling at a major film festival, TIFF has not programmed screenings at Scotiabank Theatre Toronto of Netflix’s Marriage Story (pictured), The Two Popes, The Laundromat, Dolemite Is My Name, and Cannes pick-up Atlantics.
Similarly, there are no screenings at the venue for Amazon Studios’ Seberg, The Aeronauts, and Les Miserables, another Croisette acquisition.
As Screendaily reported, festival-going public can watch these films at other venues, while all press and industry screenings have been rescheduled for TIFF Bell Lightbox.
When contacted by Screendaily on Friday, a spokesperson for Cineplex said festival programming decisions were in the hands of TIFF. When asked, TIFF declined to comment on the development on Friday.