Toronto Film Fest Reveals More Details About Digital First Edition, New Ambassadors Include Natalie Portman, Olivia Wilde, Barry Jenkins & Jia Zhang-ke

The Toronto Film Festival has revealed further details about its 2020 edition, which will be a hybrid physical and digital event with a streamlined lineup.

All industry engagement will be online, including press and industry screenings and the festival’s Industry Conference, taking place September 10–15.

The online screenings will be hosted on a professional version of TIFF’s digital screening platform, developed by Shift72. National promotional agencies will be offered sections on the platform to promote films, talent, and initiatives in lieu of a physical Industry Centre.

Film professionals can register for one of two pass options: the Digital Pro Pass is designed for distributors, exhibitors, sales agents, talent agents, producers, and writer-directors, while the Digital Talks Pass is designed for new filmmakers, actors, students, and scholars.

Registration for the Digital Talks Pass opens Monday, July 27. Industry delegates can register for the early-bird rate until Friday, July 24.

The Industry Conference will feature a smaller lineup of talks than previous years, and will comprise Master Classes, Dialogues, Perspectives, Microsessions, and Spotlights. Speakers will include TIFF Ambassadors in addition to other leading and emerging voices in the film industry.

TIFF previously announced a selection of Festival Ambassadors, a new element that rallies acclaimed filmmakers and actors to help TIFF amplify this year’s event. The latest additions include: Hiam Abbass, Haifaa Al-Mansour, Shamier Anderson, Darren Aronofsky, Olivier Assayas, Gael García Bernal, Derek Cianfrance, Mark Cousins, Julie Delpy, Barry Jenkins, Jia Zhang-ke, Barbara Kopple, Hirokazu Kore-eda, Brie Larson, Kasi Lemmons, Tatiana Maslany, Carey Mulligan, Genevieve Nnaji, Alanis Obomsawin, Natalie Portman, Zachary Quinto, Isabella Rossellini, Albert Serra, Wim Wenders, Olivia Wilde, and Donnie Yen.

Already announced ambassadors include: Riz Ahmed, Tantoo Cardinal, Priyanka Chopra, Alfonso Cuarón, Claire Denis, Ava DuVernay, Atom Egoyan, Sarah Gadon, Isabelle Huppert, Rian Johnson, Anurag Kashyap, Nicole Kidman, Nadine Labaki, Viggo Mortensen, David Oyelowo, Rosamund Pike, Jason Reitman, Martin Scorsese, Denis Villeneuve, Taika Waititi, Lulu Wang, and Zhang Ziyi.

According to the festival, many of the Ambassadors will engage with audiences through interactive digital experiences and events. For instance, filmmaker, producer, and screenwriter Derek Cianfrance will lead a Dialogues session and actor and producer David Oyelowo will be a guest speaker as part of the TIFF Rising Stars programme.

“In a time of disruption, professionals from around the world still look for occasions to come together, share innovative ideas, buy and sell content, and find creative ways to collectively forge ahead towards a safer, healthier, and inclusive future,” said Geoff Macnaughton, Senior Director of Industry & Theatrical, TIFF. “This year, delegates can expect to find community, connection, inspiration, and talent — the foundation that will serve as the way forward.”

Amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the festival’s physical go-ahead is contingent on a green light from local authorities.

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