TIFF ’13: Toronto is ‘key festival’ for Oscars, says Handling

The Toronto International Film Festival's CEO Piers Handling (pictured) trumpeted his event as an award season launchpad, saying its now "positioned as the key festival in the world" for the Golden Globes and Oscars.
August 21, 2013

Want to get to the Academy Awards?

Start your journey at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), festival CEO Piers Handling told reporters Tuesday (August 20). “Toronto is now positioned as the key festival in the world for the Golden Globes and Oscars,” Handling said.

“When we’re out negotiating for films, companies, producers and agents are very aware of what Toronto can do in terms of giving a profile to a film, to performances and some of the other positions as well,” he added, after TIFF unveiled the final part of its full film line-up.

Fest organizers added that their cinema venues are now running close to 90% capacity in terms of attendance. Handling added that TIFF Bell Lightbox, as the festival’s anchor, has now shifted the focus of TIFF downtown in Toronto, to King Street, and away from Yorkville.

TIFF “was dispersed for many years. Now you’ll see a mass of concentration down in this area,” he said, referring to the downtown core around the Bell Lightbox.

The festival has moved away from the AMC Dundas Square multiplex, and taken over the Scotiabank Theatre on Richmond Street. The only remaining outliers are sizeable theatres like the Ryerson, the Elgin and the Isabel Baeder theatre uptown.

TIFF also added the Glenn Gould Theatre at the CBC to the mix, and anticipates the hotels in and around Bell Lightbox will be focused on the festival during the September 5-15 run.

Handling welcomes what he called a “festival village” atmosphere that made it easier for attendants to find one another, and TIFF to coalesce around the Bell Lightbox.


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Managing editor with realscreen publication, an international print and online magazine that covers the non-fiction film and television industries. Darah is an award-winning journalist who has spent over two decades covering a wide range of issues from real estate and urban development to immigration, politics and human rights, primarily with The Vancouver Sun. Prior to joining realscreen, she was editor of Stream Daily, realscreen's sister publication covering the dynamic global digital video industry. She also served a stint as a war reporter in Afghanistan for television and print, and was a national business blogger with Yahoo Canada.