Cinema lovers have been anxiously awaiting news from TIFF, to see how this year’s Festival would persevere with the new pandemic protocol. We all knew it would be different from the packed theatres and throngs of fans that we’re used to (and love), but it was hard to imagine just how different it would look. Change is always uncomfortable, but the announcement issued today also created a flurry of excitement. 

TIFF 2020 will have drive-in theatres, virtual red carpets, outdoor events, and a new digital platform that will allow audiences from all over the world to ‘attend’. “The pandemic has hit TIFF hard, but we’ve responded by going back to our original inspiration — to bring the very best in film to the broadest possible audience,” said Cameron Bailey, Artistic Director and Co-Head, TIFF. “Our teams have had to rethink everything, and open our minds to new ideas. In countless video calls over the past three months we have rebuilt our Festival for 2020 drawing on our five decades of commitment to strong curation, support for filmmakers and engagement with audiences. ”

Titles announced so far include Ammonite, directed by Francis Lee (United Kingdom); Another Round, from director Thomas Vinterberg (Denmark); Bruised, the debut film from director Halle Berry (USA); Concrete Cowboy by filmmaker Ricky Staub (USA); Fauna, from director Nicolás Pereda (Mexico/Canada); Good Joe Bell by director Reinaldo Marcus Green (USA); Spring Blossom, the debut film by director Suzanne Lindon (France); and True Mothers by director Naomi Kawase (Japan), will all screen at this year’s Festival. Concrete Cowboy (Photo Credit: Courtesy of TIFF) (

Another exciting element for TIFF 2020 is the lineup of TIFF Ambassadors including Ava DuVernay, Taika Waititi, Anurag Kashyap, Nicole Kidman, Martin Scorsese, Nadine Labaki, Alfonso Cuarón, Tantoo Cardinal, Riz Ahmed, Rian Johnson, Jason Reitman, Isabelle Huppert, Claire Denis, Atom Egoyan, Priyanka Chopra, Viggo Mortensen, Zhang Ziyi, David Oyelowo, Lulu Wang, Rosamund Pike, Sarah Gadon, and Denis Villeneuve.

The experience will be different, but the energy and devotion to the art of storytelling is as strong as ever.