As part of its 25th anniversary celebrations, the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) will feature the premieres of 10 short films by leading Canadian directors including Atom Egoyan, David Cronenberg and Jeremy Podeswa.

Also participating in the initiative are Mike Jones, Jean Pierre Lefebvre, Guy Maddin, Don McKellar, Patricia Rozema, Michael Snow and Anne Wheeler. The directors were challenged to produce a "Prelude" short inspired by the TIFF, which runs this year from September 7-16. Each film will receive its world premiere prior to gala film presentations, with multiple public screenings the following day.

"Literally hundreds of suppliers and individual craftspeople from across the country have galvanised behind this project," said the producer of the Preludes series Niv Fichman whose credits include The Red Violin. "It's a great testament to the vital role the festival plays in the Canadian film industry."

Since its inception in 1976, the TIFF has screened 5,790 films and has an annual economic impact of about C$30m. The festival had 416 attending filmmakers in 1999 compared to nine in 1976.