TIFF eases premiere policy to accommodate Telluride Film Festival

Changes are coming to the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF)! It has been announced that the 10-day movie bonanza that takes over the city every September is modifying its controversial premiere policy.

Last year, filmmakers were informed that movies screened at any other North American festival, in particular the TIFF-adjacent Telluride Film Festival, would be ineligible for billing during the first five days of the Canadian event. But after speaking with film executives, TIFF organizers decided to lift this regulation ahead of the 40th annual affair that kicks off September 10th.

Robert Downey Jr. and wife Susan attend the TIFF premiere of The Judge in 2014. Photo: © Getty Images

Colorado’s Telluride festival falls a week before TIFF and in the past has scooped some major wins, including the first screening of 12 Years a Slave in 2013. Movies on the program at this boutique festival can now be included at TIFF, but they will not be slated to screen at any of TIFF’s three main venues, including Roy Thomson Hall, The Elgin Theatre and the Princess of Wales Theatre during the opening four days of the festival.

Last year world premieres of Dustin Hoffman’s Boychoir and The Judge, starringRobert Downey Jr. and Robert Duvall, screened during the first week of the festival, whereas Keira Knightley and Benedict Cumberbatch's Oscar-nominated film The Imitation Game was presented later in the week because it was featured at Telluride.

Keira Knightley attends the premiere of The Imitation Game on day six of the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival. Photo: © Getty Images

“Based on feedback, we have made some minor adjustments to the policy to ensure that Toronto continues to do what is best for the filmmaker and the film while at the same time providing Toronto audiences with a fantastic festival experience,” reads a statement from TIFF officials. The complete festival lineup is expected to be released in early August.

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