Toronto International Film Festival Cancels Annual Cannes Beach Party

While the film industry mourned the loss of one of their favorite Cannes rituals, a beach party thrown every year by the Toronto International Film Festival, TIFF CEO Cameron Bailey promised to throw a “refreshed” version next year. He dropped into Cannes to announce a landmark $23 million CAD investment supported by the Canadian federal government, for a new content initiative to begin in 2026 that will expand TIFF’s scope of offerings. This is the single largest government investment TIFF has received since the campaign to build TIFF Lightbox. The three-year investment will enable the organization to accelerate planning and development work that is currently underway.

TIFF is looking for good news, as the pandemic and the loss of festival sponsors including Bell — the theater complex used to be called Bell Lightbox — made a dent in the festival’s finances.

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Envisioned as the North American hub for buying and selling screen-based projects, intellectual property, and immersive and innovative content across all platforms, the festival hopes that the market will elevate Canadian and international talent while driving global distribution and sales.

“Whether you’re buying, selling, pitching, or connecting, Toronto has long been a great place for the film industry to do business,” said Bailey in a statement. “As screen storytelling and how it reaches audiences evolve, we plan to grow the platform and the services we offer to professionals telling stories on every possible screen. We’ll bridge Canada’s advantages as a globally connected, North American nation with the exciting talent, ideas, and resources cropping up all around the world.”

“We are grateful to Minister St-Onge and the Canadian federal government for their confidence in our vision, their commitment to the Canadian screen sector, and this significant investment in TIFF’s next chapter. This market will be a game-changing catalyst for the international industry overall and will further drive the importance and economic value of not only TIFF’s work, but also of the entire cultural sector, within Canada and globally,” said Anita Lee, TIFF’s chief programming officer, in a statement. “This is the right time for TIFF to build and launch a new market initiative, and it will enable us to champion Canadian content within the larger industry in an even more meaningful way.”

Canada’s screen sector contributes over $13 billion annually to Canada’s economy.

TIFF is ramping up for its 49th annual festival September 5-15, 2024.

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