Starting out in 1976 as a collection of films from other festivals -- a "festival of festivals" -- the Toronto International Film Festival has become one of the most successful cinematic events in the world, universally regarded as an ideal platform to premiere films. Boasting a public eager for the best in contemporary film, as well as international attention from media, distributors, producers and buyers along with a galaxy of stars, the Toronto International Film Festival is considered the premiere film festival in North America. The festival has been described as "the most important film festival in the world – the largest, the most influential, the most inclusive." *
The Toronto International Film Festival has undergone countless changes since beginning as an upstart on the international circuit in 1976. Nevertheless, throughout its growth in both size and influence, the Festival has remained committed to its principal objectives: to lead the world in cultural and creative discovery through the moving image and to place Canadian achievements in an international context. As the years show, the Festival continues to achieve these objectives by bringing together a remarkable diversity of local, national and international films and personalities to the delight of enthusiastic audiences, who have continued to grow over each of the past thirty-two years.
* - Liam Lacey, Globe and Mail, September 3, 2005.