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Toronto Film Festival Dailies

The 46th Toronto International Film Festival runs September 9–18, 2021. in Canada's most vibrant and exciting metropolis, it has become one of the most important film events on the festival calendar.

Showcasing more than 300 films and hosting industryites from around the world, Toronto can "make or break" films looking for international distribution and a chance at Oscar gold. From glitzy red carpet premieres to challenging art films to cutting edge new media, the Festival offers something for every taste.

Past Coverage 2014 2015 - Coverage 2016 in French   English


TIFF unveils Talent Development & Media Inclusion Initiative participants

Additional Conference speakers & Industry Selects titles announced for the 46th edition of the Toronto International Film Festival


The Toronto International Film Festival® announced today its Talent Development programmes, including TIFF Filmmaker Lab, TIFF Talent Accelerator, TIFF Rising Stars, and the TIFF Micki Moore Residency, as well as the recently confirmed Media Inclusion Initiative participants.

“Removing barriers for creators, storytellers, and performers so they can continue developing their voice and realizing their vision is a key part of TIFF’s mission,” said Geoff Macnaughton, Senior Director, Industry and Theatrical. “Our Talent Development programmes provide carefully curated labs, access to resources, and financial support to help accelerate the careers of filmmakers, screenwriters, and actors refining their craft in tangible ways.”

Filmmaker Lab provides an immersive learning experience for 20 directors who will participate in curated, private sessions that will put them in contact with some of the finest creative talent in the world, who have carved out their careers by remaining true to their beliefs about the importance of personal expression in cinema. This year’s participants are: Omolola Ajao, Zayn Alexander, Ian Bawa, Enrique Buleo, Jorge Camarotti, Jaione Camborda, Harry Cepka, Justin Ducharme, Sarra El Abed, Gunhild Enger, Tiffany Hsiung, Jessica Barclay Lawton, Marianne Métivier, Rachael Moton, Minos Nikolakakis, Vonne Patiag, Zoé Pelchat, André Hayato Saito, Vitória Vasconcellos, and Adrian Wallace.

The 2021 Filmmaker Lab Governors are Ramin Bahrani, Tracey Deer, Miranda Harcourt, and Sanjay Sharma. They will be joined by guest speakers Hany Abu-Assad, Tom Grievson, Mia Hansen-Løve, Kawennáhere Devery Jacobs, Alexandre Moratto, and Edgar Wright.

Filmmaker Lab is supported by Telefilm Canada, Pinewood Studios, and Share Her Journey, TIFF’s commitment to increasing participation, skills, and opportunities for women behind and in front of the camera. Since its inception Share Her Journey has directly supported 362 filmmakers and film professionals and showcased 280 official Festival titles in an effort to have more films by women made, experienced, and celebrated.

New this year, the TIFF Worb Filmmaker Fellowship and the TIFF Barry Avrich Fellowship will promote diversity and inclusion in filmmaking by supporting two emerging creators participating in TIFF Filmmaker Lab, and the Share Her Journey Giving Circle Fellowship will support an emerging woman filmmaker participating in TIFF Filmmaker Lab. The TIFF Canada Goose Fellowship is made possible by Canada Goose's support of Share Her Journey. The Fellowship supports three women who are emerging creators participating in TIFF Filmmaker Lab.

The TIFF Fellows for 2021 are:

Tiffany Hsiung – Share Her Journey Giving Circle Filmmaker Lab Fellow
Arooj Azeem – Share Her Journey Rising Stars Fellow
Emma Ferreira – Share Her Journey Rising Stars Fellow 
Jessica Barclay Lawton – Share Her Journey Filmmaker Lab Fellow
Amber Midthunder – Share Her Journey Rising Stars Fellow
Rachael Moton – Share Her Journey Filmmaker Lab Fellow
Gunhild Enger – Share Her Journey Filmmaker Lab Fellow
Karam Taher – Share Her Journey Rising Stars Fellow
Marianne Métivier – TIFF Worb Filmmaker Filmmaker Lab Fellow
Justin Ducharme – TIFF Barry Avrich Filmmaker Lab Fellow
Vitória Vasconcellos – TIFF Canada Goose Filmmaker Lab Fellow
Zoé Pelchat – TIFF Canada Goose Filmmaker Lab Fellow
Jaione Camborda – TIFF Canada Goose Filmmaker Lab Fellow
Omolola Ajao – Netflix Talent Accelerator Fellow
Sarra El Abed – Netflix Talent Accelerator Fellow
Tamara Mariam Dawit – Netflix Talent Accelerator Fellow
Shehrezade Mian – Netflix Talent Accelerator Fellow
Yasmine Mathurin – Netflix Talent Accelerator Fellow
Mayumi Yoshida – Netflix Talent Accelerator Fellow

The TIFF Talent Accelerator is a customized, year-long development experience for promising Canadian creators who are women. TIFF is delighted to announce that directors Omolola Ajao and Sarra El Abed (also part of this year’s Filmmaker Lab); producers Tamara Mariam Dawit and Shehrezade Mian; and writers Yasmine Mathurin and Mayumi Yoshida have been selected to participate.

The TIFF Talent Accelerator programme is made possible by TIFF’s Share Her Journey initiative and is generously supported by the RBC Women Creators’ Initiative. Participants of the Talent Accelerator programme receive fellowship funding presented by Netflix.

TIFF is delighted to announce Atefeh Khademolreza as the recipient of the Micki Moore Residency for 2021. The screenwriting residency for women is supported by Toronto journalist and broadcaster Micki Moore and Share Her Journey. Khademolreza will receive a 10-week residency, mentorship from a script consultant, Industry accreditation for the Festival, and $3,000 towards developing her screenwriting project.

Continuing its commitment to gender parity in both the domestic and international groups, TIFF Filmmaker Lab continues to be an inclusive, enriching and collaborative space for emerging creatives to be mentored by established artists. TIFF Talent Accelerator is made possible by lead supporter RBC Women Creators’ Initiative and is part of Share Her Journey.

Celebrating its 10th year,  the TIFF Rising Stars programme provides up-and-coming actors with an exclusive opportunity to experience and engage with the Festival. They will have access to professional development sessions, Industry events, mentorship, and networking opportunities. The 2021 Rising Stars are: Arooj Azeem (Quickening), Emma Ferreira (Learn To Swim), Phillip Lewitski (Wildhood), Jaden Michael (Colin in Black and White), Amber Midthunder (The Wheel), Thomas Antony Olajide (Learn To Swim), Dimitrius Schuster-Koloamatangi (The Panthers), and Karam Taher (Farha). Notable alumni of this programme include Stephan James (If Beale Street Could Talk, Golden Globe winner Homecoming, Selma), Tatiana Maslany (Stronger, The Other Half, Emmy winner Orphan Black), Sarah Gadon (Alias Grace, Maps to the Stars, A Dangerous Method), Theodore Pellerin (On Becoming a God in Central Florida, Boy Erased), Ellen Wong (Glow, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World), Vinnie Bennett (Fast and Furious 9, Ghost in the Shell, Human Traces), Mamoudou Athie (The Front Runner, Unicorn Store, The Get Down), and Jessie Buckley (Judy, Wild Rose, Chernobyl), among others.

Now in its fourth year, TIFF’s Media Inclusion Initiative is a programme for 45 emerging journalists. It was developed with the objective of creating a more balanced and representative press corps by assessing and assisting in breaking down the barriers for press from equity-seeking groups, including women, Black people, Indigenous people, people of colour, persons with a disability, and people from the 2SLGBTQ+ communities, seeking to attend and fulsomely cover the Festival.

This year TIFF has provided accreditation to these journalists, with the added benefit of increased access to guidance from industry professionals and an emphasis on career development. The 2021 programme is designed to bring not just access, but experience, networking opportunities and industry knowledge to those unable to get them via traditional means. TIFF is grateful to NBCUniversal and Rotten Tomatoes for their support of the 2021 Media Inclusion Initiative participants:

Alessandra Rangel
Alyssa Vitale
Amanda Coneen
Aviva Dove-Viebahn
Caitlin Kennedy
Caroline Madden
Carson Timar
Catalina Combs
Doug Jamieson
Erin M. Brady
Fernando Fernandez
Gabriela Burgos
Ian Thomas Malone
Ileana Melendez
Jenna Mahale
Jesse Webber
Josie Meléndez
Katie Smith-Wong
Kelli Weston
Kelly Boutsalis
Keno Katsuda
Kristen Maldonado
Lapacazo Sandoval
Latoya Austin
Lauren Martinez
Lydia Rostant
Michelle Kisner
Mie Uzu
Nguyen Le
Nicola Austin
Raul Navedo
Reuben Baron
Rosa Parra
Samuel Earl Leggett Jr
Sara Clements
Sarah Manvel
Siddhant Adlakha
Soham Gadre
Sophie Butcher
Steph Cozza
Thomas Stoneham-Judge
Thomasena Farrar
Zach Gilbert
Zofia Wijaszka

Ferdosa Abdi and Alisha Mughal are this year’s Sid Adilman mentees, and their participation and mentorship are supported by the Sid Adilman Endowment Fund at TIFF.

TIFF is pleased to add one more title to the 2021 Industry Selects lineup, and two speakers to the Visionaries programme at TIFF Industry Conference:

I Am Zlatan Jens Sjögren | Sweden

The 2021 Industry Conference’s Visionaries programme offers inspirational sessions with prominent individuals who are forging new creative and business pathways in the industry. TIFF is pleased to announce the following two additions:

Academy Award–nominated, Australian-born cinematographer Greig Fraser joins us to talk about bringing the complex, epic world of this year’s highly anticipated Dune (2021) to life on screen. With a remarkable and varied body of work that includes both critical and commercial successes, including Let Me In (2010), Zero Dark Thirty (2012), Foxcatcher (2014), Lion (2016), Rogue One (2016), and Vice (2018), as well as the upcoming The Batman (2022), Fraser’s approach as a cinematographer stands out in the way it seamlessly supports and complements the storytelling and performances. In this in-depth conversation, Fraser discusses working with director Denis Villeneuve and production designer Patrice Vermette to create a shared artistic, technical and emotional language for Dune, using the written word and imagination to spark visual inspiration and celebrating the beauty of creative collaborations on set. Dune is presented as a Special Event at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival.

A Share Her Journey Initiative generously supported by Betty-Ann Heggie

Sahraa Karimi is a renowned director and activist, and the first woman to chair Afghan Film. Her first feature, Hava, Maryam, Ayesha (2019), was shot entirely in Kabul with Afghan actors and received critical acclaim at its Venice premiere. On August 13, Karimi called on the international film community to protect filmmakers and other creatives from Taliban violence through a deeply honest open letter. For our closing Industry Conference session, Karimi joins us to speak about fleeing her home country, how the international film community can support and care for Afghan artists, and the role film plays in effecting change.

The Government of Canada opened its borders for non-essential travel from American citizens and permanent residents on August 9, 2021 and plans to open to citizens of any country on September 7, 2021, provided that the domestic epidemiologic situation remains favourable, and that visitors have been fully vaccinated with Government of Canada–approved vaccines (Moderna, Pfizer-BioNTech, Janssen/Johnson & Johnson, AstraZeneca/COVISHIELD) at least 14 days prior to entering Canada. Those meeting these requirements can travel to Canada without having to quarantine, including the elimination of the three-night hotel quarantine policy. As of August 27, 75.2% of Canada’s eligible population is fully vaccinated, one of the highest vaccination rates in the world. Toronto boasts one of the highest percentages of fully vaccinated citizens in North America with 76.1% of the eligible population completed as of the same date.

As a result of the opening of the border and increased capacities in cinemas in Ontario, TIFF has added to its list of venues to accommodate a number of additional in-person Public and Press & Industry screenings. TIFF Festival venues include: TIFF Bell Lightbox and marquee venues the Visa Screening Room at the Princess of Wales Theatre and Roy Thomson Hall, Scotiabank Theatre Toronto, and the Cinesphere IMAX Theatre at Ontario Place, plus outdoor screening venues at Ontario Place Festival Village, including the Visa Skyline Drive-In, the RBC Lakeside Drive-In, and the West Island Open Air Cinema. Press & Industry screenings will be held at the Scotiabank Theatre Toronto and TIFF Bell Lightbox. Public in-person screenings will have limited press and industry access.

Beginning on September 9, 2021, Festival staff, audience members and visitors entering TIFF Festival venues from September 9 to 18 will be required to show either proof they have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or proof that they have tested negative for COVID-19 within 48 hours prior to entering any TIFF venue. This protocol does not extend to the Visa Skyline Drive-In and RBC Lakeside Drive-In at Ontario Place where audiences will be in their cars. Previously announced COVID safety measures and detailed protocols and procedures for Public, Talent, Studios, Stakeholders and other TIFF attendees can be found at

Additionally, digital Public screenings will be programmed on digital TIFF Bell Lightbox for the accessibility of Festival-goers but are limited to Canadian audiences. The TIFF Digital Cinema Pro platform will host digital Press & Industry screenings, as well as the TIFF Industry Selects market for industry buyers. Films available to press and industry on TIFF Digital Cinema Pro will be accessible to delegates worldwide; however, some exceptions may occur where the film rights holders have not authorized an online screening in selected regions. The TIFF Bell Digital Talks platform will host a variety of Public and Press & Industry talks, including the In Conversation With… talks series, the Industry Conference, and Press Conferences.

TIFF continues to work closely with the Province of Ontario, the City of Toronto, and public health officials on the safe execution of the Festival, with its number-one priority being the health and well-being of both Festival filmgoers and residents of the community. To help ensure the safest possible experience, TIFF has once again partnered with Medcan, a global health care leader providing medical expertise, consultation, and health inspiration to achieve its mission to help people “Live Well, For Life.” Based on the pillars of evidence-based care, exceptional client service, and the latest in technology, Medcan’s team of over 90 physicians supports employee health care across the continuum of health, including its “Safe at Work System,” which helps organizations navigate the pandemic.
Please visit for more information.

The 46th Toronto International Film Festival runs September 9–18, 2021.


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The Dailies from Toronto

Contributing editors: Bruno Chatelin 

Laurie Gordon Animaze International Film Festival Le Miaff!
Leopoldo Soto Huatulco Food and Film Festival Director
Gary Lucas Guitar hero Performing artist live score to classic and horror film
Mike Rabehl Programmer and Buyer Cinequest Film Festival San Jose Tiwtter: @cqmike
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