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Toronto's Bell Lightbox Unveils Inaugural Exhibition

Photo of Nigel M Smith By Nigel M Smith | Indiewire July 7, 2010 at 5:4AM

Three days after the kick-off of the 35th Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), that runs from September 9-19, the event will open its new permanent home with an inaugural exhibition. The venue will open its doors on September 12, 2010 with the exhibition, Essential Cinema.
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Three days after the kick-off of the 35th Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), that runs from September 9-19, the event will open its new permanent home with an inaugural exhibition. The venue will open its doors on September 12, 2010 with the exhibition, Essential Cinema.

Noah Cowan, Artistic Director of TIFF's Bell Lightbox unveiled today key highlights of the Essential Cinema exhibition. Launching on September 12, the free exhibition was inspired by a list of the 100 most important films (the Essential 100), based on TIFF expert and audience votes. Not only will the exhibition appear in Bell Lightbox's gallery space, but also in other locations in the building and throughout the city of Toronto. In addition, TIFF's popular programme of moving-image projects, Future Projections, will be linked this year to the Essential Cinema exhibition. Projections will feature eleven artworks from artists including Douglas Gordon, Michael Snow and Ming Wong, that relate to the films and filmmakers on the Essential 100 list.

“Essential Cinema is a serious exhibition with a playful heart,” said Cowan in a press release. “It represents the deep bond we have with our audiences around the history, culture and future of cinema. We created the Essential 100 list together with our audience and now we can share cinema’s greatest treasures, as brought to life by some of the world’s greatest artists. We are also delighted that the cross-media curatorial experiment of Future Projections has grown into such a central part of this city’s cultural life and a signal programme to welcome TIFF Bell Lightbox into the circle of Toronto’s new and re-imagined cultural buildings.”

Also included in the inaugural exhibition will be a "wunderkammer" ("cabinet of curiosities" room) that will feature objects, costumes, photographs, music and other memorabilia from films on the Essential 100 list. Highlights will include Robert DeNiro's cab license, used while researching his role in Martin Scorcese's "Taxi Driver, and original storyboards from "Gone With the Wind." Four newly commissioned media artworks related to the 100 films will also make up the exhibition. Directors Guy Maddin, Atom Egoyan, James Andrean, Francois Xavier Saint-Pierre and Barr Gilmore round out the directors contributing the series of short film installations.

"Our dream for TIFF Bell Lightbox ten years ago was to provide unique film-related experiences for our many audiences," said Piers Handling, Director and CEO of TIFF in a press statement. "Now the world can see what will make us a truly unique institution, ready to build towards a future where TIFF Bell Lightbox is viewed as a hub of creativity, innovation and education for audiences of all ages."

Essential Cinema also includes a programme of screenings, lectures and concerts that will begin on September 23, 2010 and will continue until the end of 2010. For more information on the TIFF Bell Lightbox and the Essential Cinema exhibition, visit the TIFF website.