Toronto film festival gets swank new home

The new headquarters will have five cinema halls, two galleries, three studios, a three-storey public atrium, a centre for film students and scholars, staff offices and a restaurant, and a lounge in the heart of downtown Toronto. Comprising over 153,000 square feet of space, it will have a total capacity of 1,300 cinema seats.

According to Piers Handling, CEO of the festival, the 35th edition of the festival will be held at the new venue of TIFF Bell Lightbox here. The festival runs from Sep 9-19 and the new venue will be thrown open to the public on Sep 12. Till now, the films at the festival have been screened at various theatres spread over the whole downtown area. But with the five-storey TIFF Bell Lightbox set for opening, all film screenings and galas will now be held at the same venue.

"TIFF Bell Lightbox is a permanent home for cinema lovers from around the world,'' said Handling who is currently attending the Cannes film festival. "We have spent a decade working on this project and its opening marks a new step in the evolution of TIFF. Audiences visiting our new home and experiencing our wide range of programming will see that we are so much more than a 10-day event in September,'' he said.

"Designed by world-renowned Toronto-based architecture firm Kuwabara Payne McKenna Blumberg Architects (KPMB), TIFF Bell Lightbox is soon to be the world's leading destination for film lovers. Five public cinemas, ranging from 550 to 80 seat theatres, are expressed as distinct architectural volumes - each a box within a box,'' TIFF said in a statement here. Apart from the 10-day film festival each year, the new headquarters will also serve the venue for year-round activities, including film programmes, exhibitions, and gallery shows.

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