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2010 Press Releases

35th Anniversary Fact Sheet

TIFF Facts and Figures

9,542 - Total number of films screened at the festival since 1976 (both features & shorts)

2,127 - Canadian films shown at the Festival since 1976

$2.00 - Cost of a single admission ticket in 1976 (based on ticket package of 3 daytime features)

145 - Number of accredited press in 1976

1,104 - Number of accredited press in 2009

1978 - Year with the fewest number of films (85)

1984 - Year with the highest number of films (460) - 1984 included a massive retrospective of Canadian films

35,000 - Number of people in attendance at the 1976 festival

500,000 - Number of people in attendance at the 2009 festival


TIFF Highlights


  • The 1st Festival of Festivals is held; founded by Bill Marshall, Henk Van der Kolk and Dusty Cohl


  • Festival hosts a seminal retrospective of Quebec cinema
  • Wayne Clarkson becomes Festival Director
  • Launch of the annual Symposium – Canada’s largest business conference for filmmakers


  • "The American Nightmare" retrospective on U.S. horror films organized by Robin Wood and Richard Lippe
  • Industry programme Trade Forum launched at Festival (until 1991)


  • Contemporary World Cinema programme created


  • Perspectives Canada created, confirming Festival's commitment to bringing Canadian films and filmmakers to a wider, international audience


  • Helga Stephenson named Festival Director, Piers Handling named Programming Director


  • Midnight Madness programme created


  • TIFF assumes management of Gerald Pratley's Ontario Film Institute. The Institute's screening programme is expanded to become Cinematheque Ontario (now TIFF Cinematheque). Resource Centre becomes Film Reference Library.


  • The Strange Objects of David Cronenberg’s Desire, an exhibit of artifacts and design related to his films, is organized with the Film Reference Library and launched in Tokyo; exhibited at the ROM in Toronto and in Thessaloniki.


  • Piers Handling named Festival Director and CEO
  • Festival name is changed to current "Toronto International Film Festival"
  • The organization renamed itself the Toronto International Film Festival Group becoming the umbrella organization of the Festival


  • TIFF assumes management of Film Circuit


  • Piers Handling is bestowed the insignia of Chevalier des Arts et Lettres
  • Sprockets Toronto International Film Festival for Children is launched, headed up by Jane Schoettle


  • Talk Cinema (now Reel Talk), Sunday morning preview & discussion series, begins


  • TIFF commissions 10 celebrated filmmakers to make short films inspired by Festival
  • Pitch This! event for emerging filmmakers launched as part of Industry Programming at Festival
  • Film Circuit is recipient of the Peter F. Drucker Award for Canadian Nonprofit Innovation presented by the Peter F. Drucker Canadian Foundation


  • Canada's Top Ten launched


  • Special Delivery is launched, reaching out to youth in under-served areas of the GTA who may not otherwise have access to the festival experience.


  • TIFF unveils plans for TIFF Bell Lightbox
  • Noah Cowan appointed as Co-Director of the Toronto International Film Festival


  • Piers Handling receives the CEO of the year award from the Canadian Public Relations Society
  • Festival launches Talent Lab, a industry initiative for Canadian filmmakers
  • Sprockets Globetrotter Series is created
  • Student Film Showcase is established, a showcase of  diverse and exciting range of emerging student work


  • TIFF launches the industry initiatives office for Canadian filmmakers
  • Festival’s 30th anniversary


  • Sprockets celebrates 10th anniversary.


  • Construction officially begins on TIFF Bell Lightbox
  • TIFF establishes Reel Comfort, reaching out to the underserved, disenfranchised community of acute care mentally ill patients of the Department of Psychiatry at Toronto General Hospital.
  • Cameron Bailey appointed Co-Director of the Toronto International Film Festival
  • Noah Cowan appointed as Artistic Director for TIFF Bell Lightbox.


  • The John VanDuzer Children’s Film Collection is launched providing teachers with the unique opportunity to rent and screen engaging, fun and educational films not otherwise available in Canada.
  • TIFF Cinematheque presents In the Realm of Oshima: The Films of Japanese Master Nagisa Oshima, the first major Oshima retrospective in North America in 20 years, tours key cultural institutions in a dozen cities including Walker Art Center (Minneapolis), Harvard Film Archive (Cambridge).
  • Michele Maheux appointed Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer


  • Film Circuit celebrates its 15th anniversary with TIFF
  • As part of the organization’s celebration of the City of Toronto’s 175th anniversary, TIFF published Toronto on Film


  • TIFF Cinematheque and the Film Reference Library celebrate 20th anniversary
  • TIFF Bell Lightbox, the organization’s new permanent home, opens to the public.


About TIFF

TIFF is a not-for-profit cultural organization whose mission is to transform the way people see the world through film. Its vision is to lead the world in creative and cultural discovery through the moving image. TIFF generates an annual economic impact of $170 million CAD and currently employs more than 100 full-time staff and 500 part-time and seasonal staff, and counts upon the largesse of over 2,000 volunteers year-round.


About TIFF Bell Lightbox

Currently under construction, TIFF Bell Lightbox, a breathtaking five-storey complex located in downtown Toronto, will provide a permanent home for film lovers to celebrate cinema from around the world and will propel TIFF forward as an international leader in film culture. Designed by innovative architecture firm KPMB, TIFF Bell Lightbox’s fluid structure encourages exploration, movement and play. The campaign to build TIFF Bell Lightbox is generously supported by lead sponsor Bell, the Province of Ontario, the Government of Canada, the King and John Festival Corporation – consisting of the Reitman family and the Daniels Corporation – RBC as major sponsor and official bank, major sponsor BlackBerry, Visa†, the Copyright Collective of Canada, the Slaight Family Foundation, The Daniels Corporation, NBC Universal Canada, the Brian Linehan Charitable Foundation, the Harbinger Foundation, Mackenzie Financial, CIBC and BMO. The Board of Directors, staff and many generous individuals and corporations have also contributed to the campaign. For more information on the TIFF Bell Lightbox campaign, visit


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