The Toronto International Film Festival starts on Thursday, and for a second consecutive year, the pandemic has forced organizers to reduce the number of in-person screenings.
Cinemas can now welcome up to 1,000 guests or 50% of seating capacity with Ontario’s Step 3 restrictions.
TIFF is running physical screenings at eight different venues. The TIFF Bell Lightbox, the Princess of Wales Theatre, Roy Thomson Hall, and Scotiabank Theatre in the entertainment district are all running screenings this year. Festival attendees can also watch movies at the Cinesphere IMAX Theatre, the VISA Skyline Drive-In, the RBC Lakeside Drive-In, and the West Island Open Air Cinema at Ontario Place.
At the same time, TIFF is also operating digital screenings on its Digital TIFF Bell Lightbox platform, where viewers can rent the movies for $19 to $26. Some films are also free to watch.
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According to TIFF’s website, festival attendees will need to show proof of double vaccination or a recent negative COVID-19 test to enter the screenings. Masks will need to be worn the entire time inside.
Festival organizers also suggest viewers check the weather forecast — since lineups for the theatres will take place outside due to COVID-19.
Although the pandemic has dulled red carpet activity, some famous actors will be in town for movie premiers, including Keira Knightley, Sigourney Weaver, and Benedict Cumberbatch.
TIFF runs from September 9 to 18 this year.
Daily Hive has reached out to festival organizers for comment but has not yet heard back.