Kristen Stewart at the TIFF premiere of Seberg in 2019 | Photo by George Pimentel, courtesy of TIFF

TIFF Announces Return to In-Person Festival, Unveils Programming Team

POV contributor Kelly Boutsalis joins Canadian programming team

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The Toronto International Film Festival will return to in-person festivities this fall. TIFF announced today that the 2022 edition of the festival will run September 8 to 18, which marks a return to an eleven-day celebration of Canadian and international film. The festival will offer in-person events including the Opening Night Party, Industry Conference, TIFF Tribute Awards Gala, and other networking events.

TIFF also announced its programming team for the 2022 festival, which includes faces both familiar and new. The team features two Indigenous perspectives with the addition of Jason Ryle and Kelly Boutsalis. Ryle programmed TIFF’s Alanis Obomsawin retrospective in 2021 and steered imagineNATIVE for several years while establishing himself as one of the leading advocates and voices for Indigenous film in Canada. Ryle joins TIFF in a new role devoted to curating films by Indigenous artists. Boutsalis, a regular contributor to POV and other outlets like the New York Times, joins TIFF as Associate Programmer for feature-length Canadian films. Ravi Srinivasan continues to program Canadian features as well.

“We’re thrilled to share this news about TIFF 2022 and to introduce fresh voices to our programming team,” said TIFF CEO Cameron Bailey in a statement from the festival. “Their expertise, passion, and perspectives will both deepen and broaden TIFF’s curation. As we prepare our selections both for TIFF Bell Lightbox year-round and for the 47th Toronto International Film Festival, we can’t wait to see what our new programmers will add to the mix.”


Returning Programmers and Upgrades

Doc fans can breathe easy as TIFF confirmed the return of Thom Powers in the TIFF Docs programme. Powers recently announced that he is stepping down from leading the DOC NYC programming to assume special projects for the festival. TIFF Docs has launched many of the top docs annually, including films like the Oscar-winner Free Solo and Attica, which opened the programme last year and is a current Oscar nominee.

TIFF also announced the return to veteran programmer Jane Schoettle, who previously stepped down from the team after many years of championing independent film in the line-up. “Jane has a long history of finding some of our Festival’s top audience favourites, and for spotting the hottest sales titles as well,” noted Bailey in a statement. Schoettle’s new role is Senior International Programmer, Special Presentations, which indicates that her position partly fills her previous duties and partly covers some of the programming responsibilities that Bailey had before stepping up as CEO. Bailey will select the Gala programming.

Two programmer promotions are in the news as well. TIFF announced Robyn Citizen as Director of Festival Programming & Cinematheque, filling a void left by James Quandt two years ago. Veteran Wavelengths programmer Andréa Picard, meanwhile, has been upgraded to Senior Curator, TIFF & TIFF Cinematheque. TIFF recently extended free screenings of year-round Cinematheque programming to members at TIFF Bell Lightbox.

Programmers returning to the TIFF team include festival programmer Steve Gravestock; Short Cuts programmer Jason Anderson; international programmers Diana Cadavid, Giovanna Fulvi, Nataleah Hunter-Young, and Dorota Lech; Midnight Madness programmer Peter Kuplowsky; and industry programmer Geoff McNaughton.

TIFF has yet to indicate if this return to normal in-person programming will include a digital component and notes that it continues to monitor COVID safety protocols. The Government of Ontario recently lifted capacity limits on theatrical exhibitions.

Pat Mullen is the publisher of POV Magazine. He holds a Master’s in Film Studies from Carleton University where his research focused on adaptation and Canadian cinema. Pat has also contributed to outlets including The Canadian Encyclopedia, Paste, That Shelf, Sharp, Xtra, and Complex. He is the vice president of the Toronto Film Critics Association and an international voter for the Golden Globe Awards.

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