Nearly 25 years after his tenure first began, Piers Handling announced today that he will step down as Director and CEO of the Toronto International Film Festival at the conclusion of next year’s fest. He’s credited with helping to turn TIFF from a 10-day event into a year-round program; taking an active role in the campaign to design, fund, and build the TIFF Bell Lightbox; and more throughout his time with the organization.
“Because of Piers’ leadership, TIFF is the leading cultural organization it is today, with a global reach and impact,” said Jennifer Tory, Chair of the Board of Directors of TIFF. “We are all indebted to him for his years of vision, innovation and dedication to the art of film.”
“I joined the festival in 1982 and have been CEO for the past 23 years. I am incredibly proud of the legacy we have achieved during that time. I am completely confident in the future of TIFF. It is now one of the most important film organizations in the world,” said Handling in a statement of his own.
“We have an exciting and bold new strategic plan — Audience First,” he added. “While I am excited about what the future holds in store for me, my immediate focus remains leading this wonderful organization through to the end of 2018, and ensuring that TIFF continues to inspire audiences and celebrate the riches of cinema from all over the globe.”
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This year’s edition of TIFF begins on September 7 and ends on September 17. Among the anticipated films are Brie Larson’s “Unicorn Store,” Guillermo del Toro’s “The Shape of Water,” Armando Iannucci’s “The Death of Stalin,” George Clooney’s “Suburbicon,” and Lucreta Martel’s “Zama,” among many others.