The Toronto International Film Festival (Sept 9-18) haslaunched two new programmes designed to spotlight Canadian film-making talent.

Canada First! will showcase Canadians making their featuredebut or presenting a feature at the Festival for the first time, and willannually screen eight to 15 feature films.

Short Cuts Canada will programme 30 to 40 films from Canada'sshort film scene.

As part of the new focus, the festival is retiring its 20year-old survey programme, Perspective Canada.

Films by veteran and established Canadian filmmakers will nowappear throughout the Festival's international programmes, including Galas, Masters,Visions, Special Presentations, Contemporary World Cinema, Real to Reel, Wavelengths,and Midnight Madness. The overall number of Canadian films presented annually -often more than 30 features - remains the same.

Canadian Retrospective and Canadian Open Vault also remain,honouring the best in classic Canadian cinema.

All Canadian submissions to the festival - including featuresunder consideration outside of Canada First! - are screened by a committeecomposed of long-time Canadian programmers Liz Czach and Stacey Donen, and therecently appointed Associate Director of Canadian Special Events, SteveGravestock.

"We created Perspective Canada in 1984 to support andpromote a fledgling Canadian film industry at home and abroad," said PiersHandling, co-founder of the programme and CEO & Director of TIFFG. "Twentyyears later, our industry is vibrant and established and produces work amongthe very best in international filmmaking. Canada First! honours the legacy ofPerspective Canada and returns to its roots, nurturing the development of ouremerging Canadian filmmakers."