Toronto Film Festival: Priyanka Chopra Jonas, Anurag Kashyap among 50 ambassadors for a downsized virtual edition


Priyanka Chopra Jonas and Anurag Kashyap are among the 50 acclaimed filmmakers and actors invited as ambassadors of a toned-down Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) this year. The festival, keeping in mind the coronavirus pandemic will be opting for digital screenings and virtual red carpets for the first time ever. The festival will be held from September 10 to September 19 and is reportedly ‘tailored to fit the moment’.

Priyanka and Anurag will be joined by Oscar winners and internationally celebrated names such as Martin Scorsese, Alfonso Cuaron, Taika Waititi, Ava DuVernay, Rian Johnson, Denis Villeneuve, and actors Nicole Kidman, Nadine Labaki, Riz Ahmed, Isabelle Huppert, Zhang Ziyi to help TIFF present a strong event this year. The festival in its 45th edition plans to screen 50 films in the first five days in theatres by maintaining social distanced viewing. However, the physical screenings will need approvals from the health authorities of the city in the wake of the COVID-19. Drive-ins are also an option for festival-goers.

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For the first time in its history, TIFF is launching a digital platform hoping to connect with a pan-global audience by hosting digital screenings, as well as numerous talks and special events. Talking about the same, Joana Vicente, executive director and co-head, TIFF said, “We could never have anticipated the global seismic changes we would be facing in 2020. We tapped into the original spirit of the Festival from when it began in 1976 as our guiding light. The distilled edition of TIFF 2020 reflects a deep love of film, passion for our loyal audiences, and commitment to the industry, and a whole lot of heart.”

Cameron Bailey, artistic director and co-head, TIFF said, “The pandemic has hit TIFF hard, but we’ve responded by going back to our original inspiration to bring the very best in film to the broadest possible audience. Our teams have had to rethink everything, and open our minds to new ideas. In countless video calls over the past three months we have rebuilt our Festival for 2020 drawing on our five decades of commitment to strong curation, support for filmmakers, and engagement with audiences.” The festival’s annual TIFF Tribute Awards event, which acknowledges and celebrates outstanding contributors in the film industry, is going virtual this year as well along with press screenings.

The festival line-up includes Ammonite directed by Francis Lee (UK), Another Round, from director Thomas Vinterberg (Denmark), Bruised, the debut film from director Halle Berry (US), Concrete Cowboys by filmmaker Ricky Staub (US), Fauna, from director Nicolas Pereda (Mexico/Canada), Good Joe Bell by director Reinaldo Marcus Green (US), Spring Blossom, the debut film by director Suzanne Lindon (France), and True Mothers by director Naomi Kawase (Japan).

(Source: PTI)