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Source: Courtesy of TIFF

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Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) top brass said on Wednesday that in spite of the Hollywood double strike they are “continuing to plan for a memorable and high-profile festival from September 7 to 17”.

SAG-AFTRA strike rules state actors cannot walk red carpets or promote their films, which has given the festival, distribution and awards sectors plenty to think about.

In a letter to the industry CEO Cameron Bailey, chief programming officer Anita lee and senior director, industry and theatrical Geoff Macnaughton noted that more than 70% of festival selections are not from the United States.

The festival brass added they have been encouraged by talks with industry and have maintained “constant communication” with SAG-AFTRA representatives, and other fall festivals.

The letter emphasised TIFF’s role as a “thriving sales market”, adding that more than one-third of this year’s titles are available for acquisition. 

For the first time the festival will open the doors of TIFF Bell Lightbox early on September 6 to host market screenings for international buyers.

Venice has been in talks with studios and streamers behind its selections as to whether they will pull their films due to SAG-AFTRA strike rules prohibiting actors to promote their work. Venice continues to plan its festival and will announce it’s line-up on July 25. It previously said Luca Guadagnino’s Challengers starring Zendaya will open the festival.

Earlier today TIFF added Atom Egoyan’s Seven Veils to its selection and previously announced that Taika Waititi’s Next Goal Wins will premiere in Toronto.

The full letter appears below:

TIFF recognizes that the impact of the SAG-AFTRA strike on the entertainment industry and film festivals like ours cannot be denied. We are continuing to plan for a memorable and high-profile festival from September 7 to 17. The entire TIFF Team, and our stakeholders, are continuing to prepare for a memorable festival showcasing the best of global cinema and are set to once again welcome thousands of film lovers, media, and industry professionals to Toronto. We have been thrilled with the engagement of the industry to-date, as our registered delegate numbers are up 10% over 2022.

We are very encouraged by our conversations with the industry and have been in constant communication with industry leaders including SAG-AFTRA representatives, as well as our friends at the other fall festivals. As a reminder, TIFF is an international film festival; and this year, over 70% of our titles are non-U.S producers, from over 70 countries from around the world. TIFF is also a thriving sales market. This year over a third of our films in selection are sales titles. We will also have a robust offering of market screenings, and for the first time, will be opening the doors of TIFF Bell Lightbox early on September 6th to host market screenings for international buyers, who we encourage to come a day early.

Our Industry Conference, from September 8 to 12, is also moving ahead, and is not impacted by the strike, as the speakers include creators, producers, and key decision makers from around the world.

We look forward to seeing you here in September. If you have any questions please feel free to email the Industry Team at registration@tiff.net.


Cameron Bailey

Anita Lee

Geoff Macnaughton

Separately, TIFF said on Wednesday that industry attendance is expected to climb 10% on 2022 as it teased the the five-day Industry Conference running September 8-12.

The six pillars of the conference are Visionaries, Dialogues, Perspectives (on which Screen is the media partner), Connections, Microsessions, and Spotlights.

New initiative TIFF Sloan Science and Technology Project Pitch launches under the auspices of Breakthroughs: The Sloan Science On Screen Programme. It will provide four Canadian and international creators the opportunity to pitch their film or episodic project in front of a live audience of industry experts and decision-makers. Each creator selected for the non-competitive pitch event will be awarded C$15,000 to develop their project and will receive mentorship from an expert pitch coach in advance of the event.