The Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) will be picking up and moving out of the ritzy environs of the Yorkville/Bloor Street district, and will set up shop in the brand new Bell Lightbox building.
Thom Powers, international documentary programmer for TIFF, says that there are no details yet regarding the exact capacity to which the Bell Lightbox will be used. The building, when completed, is projected to have five cinemas, three galleries, three learning studios and more. While construction is not yet complete, the doors will open on Setpember 12. Positioned in Toronto’s theatre and entertainment district, ‘It’s going to make for a much more exciting festival being downtown, [with] access to more great restaurants and hotels,’ says Powers.
This year’s fest, which runs from September 9-19, will also see the return of its one-day Doc Conference. Powers calls last year’s inaugural edition ‘a spectacular success,’ with packed rooms and presentations that ‘wound up making a lot of waves.’ This year, the Doc Conference will take place on September 13, with Doc Roundtables scheduled from September 12 to 15.
Powers is also behind the newest addition to the festival circuit, DOC NYC, where he serves as artistic director. ‘New York has been lacking a documentary-specific festival for many years now. Although it’s probably home to more documentary makers than any city in the world, it felt like it was an important gap to fill,’ says Powers.
The five-day festival of documentary storytelling in mediums such as film, photography and more, will take place from November 3-7. There will be no open submission for its inaugural year; instead, Powers and the DOC NYC team (which includes Raphaela Neihausen, executive director of film series Stranger Than Fiction, and John Vanco, VP and GM of the IFC Center) will tightly curate the limited slots.
DOC NYC’s advisory board includes filmmakers Michael Moore, Barbara Kopple and Dan Klores, as well as Sundance Institute Documentary Film Program director Cara Mertes and Cameron Bailey, co-director of TIFF.