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What to expect from a pandemic-adapted TIFF

The Toronto International Film Festival began on Thursday, though no one crowded the streets. Instead, this year’s festival is largely online, with virtual press conferences and strict social-distance protocols for in-theatre screenings.

Those protocols include separating audience members by drastically reducing theatres’ capacities. At the TIFF Bell Lightbox, all four cinemas have been reduced to 50 or less seats, when before each could seat hundreds.

Concession will also be closed and guests are being asked to wear masks, while overall the festival cut its number of titles from over 330 in 2019, to roughly 50 this year. 

TIFF organizers say they scaled back the festival titles as it seemed more manageable. At the same time, those films are available throughout Canada, allowing those outside of Toronto to participate in the festival for the first time.

Watch CBC’s Eli Glasner break down what you can expect from the 45th year of TIFF, and which films are generating the most excitement.


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