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TIFF 2019 Announces Platform Jury, Breaks Tradition of Filmmaker-Heavy Judges Lineup

Now in its fifth year, the Platform section champions up to 12 works with high artistic merit that also demonstrate a strong directorial vision.

AtmosphereTIFF Preparations, Toronto International Film Festival, Canada - 08 Sep 2016

Michael Buckner/Variety/REX/Shutterstock

As it prepares for the latest iteration of its annual marquee event, the Toronto International Film Festival has announced the jury for its Platform section, one of only three sections in the festival to award honors based on jury votes. The jury includes award-winning filmmaker Athina Rachel Tsangari, newly appointed Berlinale Artistic Director Carlo Chatrian, and Variety International Film Critic Jessica Kiang.

This year’s edition of the festival will mark the fifth time the Platform section has been a part of the fest, as it was first announced in 2015. The section is designed to “champion up to 12 works with high artistic merit that also demonstrate a strong directorial vision.” The three-person jury will pick the winner of the Toronto Platform Prize, which includes an award of $25,000 CAD presented to the Best Film in the lineup.

“We have been honoured to have had a remarkable list of distinguished filmmakers be a part of Platform’s jury over the past four years,” said TIFF Artistic Director and Co-Head Cameron Bailey in an official statement. “As we continue to evolve and shape the future of this young programme, we feel incorporating established industry professionals into its jury is the natural progression. We are very fortunate to have Carlo, Jessica, and Athina join us as we make this transition.”

In years past, the jury has tended to be more filmmaker-heavy, and the choice to move away from that makeup was apparently a purposeful one.

“We have decided to expand the range of perspectives and forms of expertise included in the jury for this year,” added Platform Co-Curator Andréa Picard. “We expect that moving away from exclusively inviting filmmakers will shift the focus of the jury discussions, a change that will be exciting to observe given the makeup of our exceptional jurors this year.”

Now in its fifth year, Platform is curated by Bailey and Picard, who is also Lead Curator for the Wavelengths programme. TIFF Cinematheque Director Brad Deane, Senior Manager of Theatrical Programming at TIFF Bell Lightbox Ming-Jenn Lim, and TIFF Cinematheque Programmer Lydia Ogwang are part of Platform’s selection committee.

Previous Platform selections include Alex Ross Perry’s “Her Smell” (2018), Karyn Kusama’s “Destroyer” (2018), Clio Barnard’s “Dark River” (2017), Barry Jenkins’ “Moonlight” (2016), and Gabriel Mascaro’s “Neon Bull” (2015).

The 44th Toronto International Film Festival runs September 5 – 15. The lineup for this year’s Platform program will be announced in August.

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