From Cannes, organizers of one of the world's other major festivals officially announced their new digs will be open for business this year. Piers Handling, Director and CEO of the Toronto International Film Festival announced that TIFF Bell Lightbox will open its doors to the public on September 12, 2010 - three days after the 2010 edition of the festival kicks off. Handling made the announcement today at an event celebrating Canadian filmmakers in Cannes, hosted by TIFF and the Ontario Media Development Corporation (OMDC).
"TIFF Bell Lightbox is a permanent home for cinema lovers from around the world," said Handling, in a statement. "We have spent a decade working on this project and its opening marks a new step in the evolution of TIFF. Audiences visiting our new home and experiencing our wide range of programming will see that we are so much more than a 10-day event in September."
Designed by Toronto-based architecture firm Kuwabara Payne McKenna Blumberg Architects (KPMB), TIFF Bell Lightbox will have five public cinemas, ranging from 550- to 80-seat theatres, which are "expressed as distinct architectural volumes - each a box within a box." The building also includes a three-storey atrium, two galleries, three learning studios, a centre for students and scholars, the staff offices of TIFF, a bistro, a restaurant and a lounge.
While the number of cinemas that will be fully operational during this year's Festival is still to be determined, festival audiences will still have the opportunity to attend screenings in TIFF Bell Lightbox.
Beyond the festival itself, programming in TIFF Bell Lightbox "will give context to films through innovative cross-media exhibitions, lectures, and film-related learning opportunities for all ages." The year-round programming in TIFF Bell Lightbox is being driven by Noah Cowan, Artistic Director, TIFF Bell Lightbox and his programming team. To date, two significant programming initiatives have been announced for 2010: Essential Cinema, a TIFF-curated film and exhibition programme, and Tim Burton, the highly successful MoMA exhibit.
"Exciting film programming, world-class exhibitions and gallery shows will be presented every day of the year to audiences, and a wide range of educational activities will allow our audiences to fully explore their passion for film. Our doors are now open to the amazing riches of the cinema on a year-round basis and we look forward to curating experiences, not just films," Handling added.
The Toronto International Film Festival runs September 9-19, 2010.