TIFF 2017

Toronto International Film Festival is going to be smaller this year

TIFF is scaling back for 2017. The move to downsize doesn't, however, come from dwindling popularity, but rather a desire for a tighter programming focus.

On a broad level, what this will look like is about 20 per cent fewer films, the loss of two screening venues and two curated programs. "We are trying to fine-tune the balance," TIFF's artistic director Cameron Bailey told the Globe. 

The impetus for this reduction in programming comes from industry criticism that the festival had become too big for its own good. Calls for a more stringent curation process seem to have been heard, though it's worth noting that festival-goers who enjoy more esoteric screenings might not welcome these changes.

As far as specifics go, TIFF won't screen films at the Isabel Bader theatre or the Ted Rogers Hot Docs Cinema for 2017. That'll eliminate over 1,000 seats and concentrate the festival downtown. Vanguard and City to City are the two special programs on the chopping block.

Whether these changes will stick beyond this year remains to be seen, but pleasing industry members has to be a priority for TIFF, as does keeping its reputation for excellent curation.

Lead photo by

Jesse Milns


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