The Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), formerly known as the Festival of Festivals, was founded in 1976. Held in Toronto every September, the festival’s main goal was to show films previously presented in other film festivals such as the Cannes Film Festival and the Berlin International Film Festival.
Today, TIFF is considered the second most influential film festival after Cannes when it comes to stars and market activity. Screening around 300 movies, TIFF draws more than 250,000 attendees each year. The festival has become famous for helping independent films get sponsors and creating “Oscar Buzz.”
In some instances, TIFF movies that receive the People’s Choice Award (or first or second runner-up) have won the Oscar for Best Picture. These include Chariots of Fire (1981), American Beauty (1999), Slumdog Millionaire (2008), and Spotlight (2015).
This year, Once Were Brothers: Robbie Robertson and The Band will be presented at Roy Thomson Hall on September 5 at the opening night gala. The documentary, directed by Daniel Roher and produced by Martin Scorsese, Brian Grazer and Ron Howard, tells the story of Robertson, from his days in Toronto and the Six Nations of the Grand River reserve in southern Ontario, to his epic career as songwriter and lead guitarist with roots-rock group The Band. Some of other Canadian movies include Antigone and And the Birds Rained Down.
The festival takes place in Toronto, Sept. 5-15, and tickets can be purchased online, by phone or in person at the TIFF Bell Lightbox. www.tiff.net/tickets/
By Ivonne Flores Kauffman
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