First, there was SXSW. Then Sundance and Tribeca got in the game. Now TIFF is adding a television section to its upcoming lineup, marking another major film festival to put TV on the big screen.
Today the Toronto International Film Festival announced it’s adding a new section in 2015. Titled “Primetime,” the program will shine a spotlight on international, episodic storytelling. Six high-quality programs that demonstrate the strength of contemporary television coming from broadcasters, streaming services or independent filmmakers.
“What better way to celebrate our 40th anniversary than with a programme that focuses on the new golden era of television that’s currently producing high-quality global programming, terrific writing, and direction that rivals the best feature filmmaking,” Piers Handling, Director and CEO of TIFF, said in a statement. “The Festival has explored this area for years and we’re thrilled to provide an exclusive platform for these strong creative voices.”
“Film and television have been converging for years, with many filmmakers gravitating to television to experiment with that medium,” Cameron Bailey, Artistic Director of the Toronto International Film Festival, said. “Primetime will highlight these developments internationally, spotlighting the growing intersection between these two moving-image cultures and industries.”
While television has been lurking around festivals for some time now — being sold at Cannes and advertised heavily at SXSW, among others — only recently did festivals start to include the big screen’s little brother in their actual lineups. The Primetime lineup will be released in the next few months and consist of public screenings paired with Q&A sessions featuring the shows’ creators.