Toronto International Film Festival Group Expands its "Film Circuit" Initiative

by Brian Brooks

Rebecca Jenkins, Molly Parker, and Stacy Smith in Wiebke von Carolsfeld's "Marion Bridge." Courtesy: Toronto International Film Festival Group

The Toronto International Film Festival Group, organizers of the annual September festival which bears its name, has expanded an innovative program which promotes mostly Canadian films throughout Canada as well as the U.S., Mexico and beyond.

Known as "Film Circuit," the initiative takes films, which played during the Toronto International Film Festival and brings them to communities that may not have a chance to view such titles. Film Circuit has played over 100 communities throughout Canada as well as other countries including Mexico, where it is offering an extensive program during the 3rd annual Canadian Film Festival Mexico from June 13 ­ 17.

The line-up during the event includes Toronto 2002 opener "Ararat" by Atom Egoyan, "The Baroness and the Pig" by Michael Mackenzie and Wiebke von Carolsfeld's "Marion Bridge," which won the best Canadian first feature award at Toronto 2002. Other international programs spearheaded by Film Circuit include the Canadian Cinema Showcase that toured throughout the U.K. and Ireland for the second year in January.

In the United States, Film Circuit will launch a new film festival in Beaver Creek, Colorado October 3 ­ 5 as well as programming Canadian and independent films in Reno, Nevada (November 6 ­ 9) and is planning sites for New England in October, 2004.

At home, Film Circuit welcomed its one-millionth customer in April at the Sudbury Cineseries in Sudbury, Ontario where Film Circuit began in 1992. In the first quarter of this year, 123,000 people have attended Film Circuit¹s Canadian events, a 40 per cent increase from a year ago.

The Toronto International Film Festival Group also organizes the annual Sprockets Toronto International Film festival for children and oversees the Cinematheque Ontario and The Film Reference Library.