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To our valued patrons of TIFF Bell Lightbox,

These past few weeks have been unlike anything we’ve all experienced before. To help limit the spread of COVID-19, we made the necessary decision to close our cinemas and offices at TIFF Bell Lightbox. During these times, we are acutely aware of the challenges of staying connected as creators, audiences, friends, and family. TIFF is an organization that believes in bringing together communities by creating transformational filmgoing experiences. We remain committed to creating connections and sharing films with you, now and into the future.

We want to provide this update from our Co-Heads, Executive Director Joana Vicente and Artistic Director Cameron Bailey, about extending the TIFF Bell Lightbox closure until July 1 and what we’re doing to refocus our efforts amidst this global crisis, including how we’re planning for September’s Toronto International Film Festival.

TIFF will continue to follow the updates on COVID-19 closely, while adhering to the guidelines put forward by our governments, to ensure the measures we take will help protect our staff and audience. The decision to keep our doors closed and pause our year-round programming helps mitigate the spread of the disease.

We recognize that in planning for the Festival now, there is still uncertainty about what “people coming together again” will look like in September. This is why we are looking at both onsite and digital innovations, which will provide options that will deliver for our audiences, support filmmakers and our partners, and bolster the industry.

For now, we encourage you to check in on your friends and family. Share your favourite films with them to watch at home. Our recently launched Stay-at-Home Cinema series, streaming on Crave, provides a way for communal filmgoing to still thrive. Let’s use great art to confront our fears, soothe our anxieties, and connect with one another.

If you hold tickets for an impacted event, we will be in touch with you directly about your options. We are sincerely grateful for our ever-supportive audiences. For those who are in the position to help by donating the cost of their tickets back to TIFF, we deeply appreciate your contributions — thank you. We are determined to find new ways to deliver programming to you at home until we can see you back at the Lightbox again.

We’ve heard from so many people whose lives and careers have been disrupted during this change in all of our lives — please know that our thoughts are with you. We’ve seen our staff and community rally together in ways we could never have imagined.

In times like these, community matters. Art matters. Film matters. They have the ability to give us hope and to highlight the similarities of our global experience as human beings. Know that we are all in this together, and only together can we bring about positive change. Thank you for your tireless work, strength, and love.

Our doors will open again, and we look forward to welcoming you back. Until then, stay safe, and take care.

Thank you,

Joana Vicente, Executive Director & Co-Head, and
Cameron Bailey, Artistic Director & Co-Head
TIFF