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iW NEWS | Toronto Fest Changes: Cowan Named Artistic Director of Bell Lightbox; Cameron Bailey Appoi

iW NEWS | Toronto Fest Changes: Cowan Named Artistic Director of Bell Lightbox; Cameron Bailey Appoi

Toronto International Film Festival co-director Noah Cowan has been named Artistic Director of Bell Lightbox, the multi-million dollar festival center now under construction in downtown Toronto, while Cameron Bailey will assume the co-directorship of the festival effective January 1, 2008, Toronto International Film Festival Group head Piers Handling announced Wednesday. Handling also announced that Jim Hamilton, who over the last two years helped design and conceive the programming philosophy of Bell Lightbox, has decided to return to the United Kingdom. Cowan, a senior member of the artistic team at TIFFG, has served the past four years as co-director of TIFF and has worked with the organization for 23 years. He will retain a select programming and advisory role at TIFF, mentoring Bailey through his first year. Bailey has been a programmer for the Toronto International Film Festival for 12 years where he founded the Planet Africa section and headed the Perspective Canada series. Most recently he has been responsible for the annual selection of films from Africa, south Asia and the Philippines. “I have a great job…Being the co-director [of TIFF] is one of the best jobs in film,” Cowan told indieWIRE by telephone Wednesday evening. “Bell Lightbox is going to be a unique cultural institution — there’s nothing like it. This provides me an opportunity to create a new institution — that’s the kind of challenge I relish…I also realize my interests as a curator is where film intersects with other media. This provides a much more open playing field for exploring those ideas.” TIFFG organizes the annual film festival in September as well as several other annual events. [Brian Brooks]

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