tiff 2020 movies

TIFF movies will be screened at three separate outdoor theatres for 2020 festival

Things may be feeling a little more normal in Toronto lately now that the city has moved into Stage 3 of reopening, but although places such as movie theatres and gyms have resumed operations, major events are still a no go — or at least have to be substantially amended compared with previous years.

The team behind the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), the city's biggest annual event and one of the best of its kind in the world, has been planning for months how it can best continue while a second wave of COVID-19 remains a very real threat.

The fest will run a mix of virtual and in-person showings between Sept. 10 and 19, and it has just been revealed the venues it will be utilizing, which include both indoor and outdoor spaces.

As usual, screenings will take place at TIFF Bell Lightbox at King and John, and the Isabel Bader Theatre near University and Bloor, though there will be reduced capacities at both to ensure physical distancing as per provincial guidelines.

The event will also take advantage of new venues for drive-in and open air showings, also with attendance caps: the CityView Drive-In at Polson Pier, as well as the Lakeside Drive-In at Ontario Place and the West Island Open Air Cinema, also at Ontario Place.

Organizers in a statement assured movie lovers that "at the drive-ins and open-air cinema, audiences can expect the same high-quality viewing experience as in past years."

For those who are still feeling a bit wary about attending gatherings and want to enjoy this year's fest from the safety of their living room, there is a dedicated TIFF app that will be available by Sept. 9, as well as a Chromecast digital cinema option that will be restricted to Canada only. This alternative will be available for the full 10 days.

"Lawn pods" at the open air cinema will go for $38 a show for two people, while regular ticket prices will be $19 or $26 for premium, whether they are IRL showings at the other facilities — which will only take place in the first five days  — or virtual ones. 

TIFF's industry conference aspects will also be taking place online this year, while celebs will forego their usual trip to Toronto. 

The full schedule for TIFF will be released on Aug. 25. 

Lead photo by

Hector Vasquez


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