Documentary takes the spotlight at the Toronto International Film Festival’s Industry Conference on September 12. TIFF announced preliminary details for this year’s Industry programming at the Festival. The non-fiction programming will round-out TIFF’s Industry days, which run September 8 to 12 at the Glenn Gould Theatre.
This year’s doc spotlight will again be curated by TIFF’s international documentary programmer Thom Powers and will feature leaders in non-fiction engaging in extended conversations about their approach to the art form. Last year’s conference included conversations with Academy Award winner Laura Poitras (All the Beauty and the Bloodshed), Vinay Shukla (While We Watched), and a discussion about mental health best practices in documentary with filmmaker Rebeca Huntt (Beba) and Sarah Spring of the Documentary Organization of Canada. Hillary Clinton and Chelsea Clinton also provided one of the Industry side’s top draws with a conversation to mark their Apple series Gutsy.
New on the Industry side this year is an emphasis on science on screen in partnership with the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. TIFF 2023 will debut the TIFF Sloan Science and Technology Project Pitch in which four Canadian and international teams can pitch their projects (both film and episodic) to an audience of industry leaders. The non-competitive event also awards the filmmakers $15,000 towards their projects and the ability to work with a mentor to refine their pitch leading up to the festival.
Programming for the overall Industry side of the festival will again led and developed by Geoff Macnaughton, Senior Director of Industry and Technical at TIFF, and Jane Kim, Industry Programming Producer, and managed by Amara Nwogu. TIFF’s Chief Programming Officer Anita Lee will oversee the events.
“Early indicators show that industry attendance at this year’s Festival will be up by 10% over 2022. We are primed to welcome professionals from around the world back to Toronto this September, providing them with a healthy slate of programming and business-to-business opportunities,” said Macnaughton in a statement from the festival. “Our Industry Conference will welcome champions, decision-makers, and trendsetters who are all helping to shape a thriving and more inclusive industry. In addition to the Conference, we have introduced more ways for sales, networking, and project development to be fostered.”
TIFF’s Industry Conference will again feature Visionaries conversations with industry peers charting unique pathways. The Dialogues series features filmmaker talking about topics such as serialized storytelling, feature-film development, and European production. Meanwhile, the Perspectives events will spotlight creators from the Korean diaspora, while business development and networking drive Connections, Microsessions, and Spotlights. Happy hours are also back at the Industry Conference.