TIFF and Crave Bring Festival Favourites to Home Audiences with TIFF Selects

Once Were Brothers: Robbie Robertson and the Band is one of the first titles announced for TIFF Selects
Courtesy of TIFF

By Pat Mullen

Film fans can catch recent hits from the festival circuit thanks to a new partnership between the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) and Bell Media. The festival and Bell’s Crave streaming service will now spotlight festival fare under the new programming stream “TIFF Selects.” The effort further extends the festival experience by bringing audience favourites from TIFF directly into the homes of viewers across Canada—an important effort to create a space for Canadian and independent world cinema as audience consumption patterns oscillate between theatrical and home viewings.

New titles housed within TIFF Selects complement the previous Best of TIFF stream on Crave curated by TIFF Artistic Director and Co-Head Cameron Bailey. “Putting together these films that audiences can experience all over again is exciting,” said Bailey in a statement from TIFF. “With two TIFF collections on Crave, viewers have more available to them than ever before.”

The recent additions begin with 11 films that premiered at TIFF in 2019 including the festival’s opening night film, Once Were Brothers: Robbie Robertson and the Band. The film was the first Canadian documentary to open TIFF during the history of the festival. Once Were Brothers will premiere on Crave in March 2020.

“It was important for us to expand the presence of TIFF – an iconic Canadian cultural institution – on Crave,” said Randy Lennox, President, Bell Media, in a statement from the festival. “One of Crave’s cultural mandates is acquiring, curating, and distributing the best content in the world, and we’re thrilled to continue that momentum through this new partnership with TIFF.”

Bell is TIFF’s lead sponsor and plays a vital role keeping both the festival and its year-round theatrical venue, TIFF Bell Lightbox, up and running. These latest developments in the festival’s partnership with Crave expand TIFF’s effort to keep abreast of audience fragmentation and digital distribution. The plans, long hinted at in festival communications, are arguably a win for the festival, filmmakers, and film buffs who want to catch films they missed at TIFF.

“TIFF’s partnership with Bell Media and Crave, Canada’s own world-class streaming service, is good for business and furthers TIFF’s mission to showcase exceptional cinema to audiences across the country,” said Joana Vicente, TIFF’s Executive Director and Co-Head in a statement. “TIFF is thrilled to make this opportunity available to both the filmmakers and viewers. Together, we hope to grow the TIFF Selects collection over the coming years.”

The first 11 titles announced for TIFF Selects include several Canadian titles. In addition to Once Were Brothers, TIFF Selects connects home audiences with Sophie Deraspe’s Antigone and Matthew Rankin’s The Twentieth Century. The films won Best Canadian Feature and Best Canadian First Feature, respectively, at TIFF last fall and were selected for Canada’s Top Ten in December. Films immediately available include some international discoveries from TIFF 2019, including the sleeper hit Jallikattu and the Turkish horror flick The Antenna.

The first titles announced for TIFF Selects are:

The Antenna – dir. Orçun Behram | Turkey (now streaming)
Antigone – dir. Sophie Deraspe | Canada (February)
The County – dir. Grímur Hákonarson | Iceland/Denmark/Germany/France (now streaming)
Disco – dir. Jorunn Myklebust Syversen | Norway (now streaming)
Jallikattu – dir. Lijo Jose Pellissery | India (now streaming)
Lina from Lima – dir. María Paz González | Chile/Argentina/Peru (now streaming)
Once Were Brothers: Robbie Robertson and The Band – dir. Daniel Roher | Canada (spring)
Our Lady of the Nile – dir. Atiq Rahimi | France/Belgium/Rwanda (now streaming)
Sole – dir. Carlo Sironi | Italy/Poland (now streaming)
Stories From The Chestnut Woods – dir. Gregor Božič | Slovenia/Italy (now streaming)
The Twentieth Century – dir. Matthew Rankin | Canada (March)