TIFF’s hybrid model comes into view

The festival unveiled the indoor and outdoor screening venues for Toronto audiences, with plans to rollout the Bell Digital Cinema platform Canada-wide in September.

The Toronto International Film Festival has painted a clearer picture of its 45th edition with a detailed look on the rollout of its physical and virtual hybrid model in September.

Festival-goers in Toronto will be able to catch indoor screenings at the TIFF Bell Lightbox and the Isabel Bader Theatre, located near Queen’s Park. Outdoor venues include drive-in options at CityView and Ontario Place, as well as the West Island Open Air Cinema, also located in Ontario Place.

Digital screenings for the general public will be held on the new Bell Digital Cinema platform, which is geolocked to Canada and will be available to use via Chromecast or a specially designed TIFF app that will be available to download one day before the festival begins. Films screened via the platform will be watermarked to prevent piracy.

Information on where films will be available will be released on Aug. 25. Tickets for individual screenings – both physical and digital – will be $19 for regular and $26 premium, while outdoor screenings are priced out at two people per car or “lawn pod.” The total audience capacity for screenings will be equal to previous years, divided between physical venue screenings and the digital platform.

Ontario’s Ministry of Health recently loosened restrictions on indoor movie theatres, allowing theatres to operate with a 50 person capacity limit per auditorium, rather than per facility, as long as the two-metre distancing measures can be maintained. The TIFF Bell Lightbox has six cinemas in total – its largest holds a capacity of 523, while its smallest holds 41. Three of the six theatres can accommodate more than 200 audience members.

The festival recently unveiled its selections for 2020, with Canadian picks including two projects from Michelle Latimer – her documentary Inconvenient Indian and the upcoming CBC drama Trickster – and features from Tracey Deer, Aisling Chin-Yee, Chase Joynt, Madeleine Sims-Fewer and Dusty Mancinelli, to name a few. TIFF will open with Spike Lee’s David Byrne’s American Utopia and close with the BBC miniseries A Suitable Boy, directed by Mira Nair.

TIFF will run from Sept. 10 to 19.

Photo by Shane Parent, courtesy of TIFF