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TIFF Launches Film Market

TIFF Launches Film Market

The Toronto Film Festival (TIFF) is getting a market.

TIFF on Thursday confirmed that it will add an official film market to run alongside its festival program, billing the venture as the “North American hub for buying and selling screen-based projects, intellectual property, and immersive and innovative content across all platforms” that aims to “elevate Canadian and international talent while driving global distribution and sales.”

Toronto has long been a spot where business gets done — major deals for the upcoming The Crow reboot and Anna Kendrick’s directorial debut Woman of the Hour were inked at or just before TIFF last year — but unlike Cannes or Berlin, the festival has never had an official bazaar where buyers and sellers can set up shop. Instead, U.S. and international film buyers and sellers networked and did business informally while circulating around the festival or in hotel rooms, rather than under one roof.

That’s set to change this year, with the Canadian government providing $23 million over three years to fund the new venture. The formal film market was spearheaded by TIFF’s chief programming officer Anita Lee and Geoff Macnaughton, senior director of industry and theatrical programming.

“Toronto is already the gateway to the North American market, where people come come launch their films, see how they perform in front of a North American audience and gauge their market value,” says TIFF chief executive officer Cameron Bailey, speaking to The Hollywood Reporter in Cannes. “This new market will let top talent and companies already coming to Toronto launch their new projects.”

The forerunner of the official formal market was TIFF’s Industry Selects program, launched in 2022. That selection of films beyond the official TIFF lineup and available for worldwide acquisition received in-person screenings for film buyers and industry execs.

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“Talking to people in the industry we think there is a real opportunity for a new market in the fall calendar,” says Lee. “Not just for film but for series, for VR, for all forms of IP.”

Toronto’s dates, the 49th TIFF runs September 5 – 15, means the new market will be just two months before AFM, which runs Nov. 5-10 in Las Vegas.

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