TIFF 2021: In a Weird Year for Festivals, Filmmakers and Programmers Defend the Exclusive Physical Event

This year’s Toronto International Film Festival was a tough gamble by any metric, but even as it scaled back the size of the program and held minimal in-person events, evidence abounded that filmmakers and audiences were eager to get back to the moviegoing experience.

Despite pandemic fears, some TIFF attendees found plenty of silver linings.Despite its haphazard form, the 2021 edition of TIFF provided an opportunity to witness the unique challenges and opportunities of pressing ahead with a physical event in the time of Covid, no matter the ubiquitous reservations.

“It felt like it had that very human scale this year,” said TIFF co-head and artistic director Cameron Bailey as the closing weekend began.

“We were all blinking and out in the world again.”Look no further than the Midnight Madness screening of “Titane,” which won the Palme d’Or at Cannes earlier this year before making its North

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