TIFF 2010: Festival celebrates its 30th anniversary with free public screening series

August, 17, 2010 – In celebration of its 35th anniversary, the Toronto International Film Festival gives back to film lovers with the TIFF For Free programme, a series of free public film screenings showcasing programming gems from Festivals past. All screenings will take place at TIFF Bell Lightbox and will give audiences the opportunity to get better acquainted with the city’s new hub for cinematic activity. 

“When our founders Dusty Cohl, Bill Marshall and Henk Van der Kolk started the Festival in 1976, their vision was to showcase the best in Canadian and international film, focusing on excellence in the medium,” said Piers Handling, Director and CEO, TIFF. “We are proud to carry on that vision, which over our 35 years, has propelled us into becoming one of the pre-eminent film festivals in the world.” 
“The Festival has not only grown over 35 years, it has helped shape the film industry in Canada,” said Bill Marshall, TIFF Board Member and Co-Founder of the Festival. “From our Talent Lab and the funding provided from our Festival Awards, to the Film Reference Library and our new screening and learning spaces at TIFF Bell Lightbox, TIFF offers filmmakers an international platform for their work, as well as year-round resources to bring great new Canadian art to audiences.” 
“Since our start in 1976, the growth of the Festival has been incredible,” added Henk Van der Kolk, Co-Founder of the Festival. “To date, we have screened nearly 10,000 films, and in 2009, saw a record number of 500,000 attendees. We are humbled by our achievements to date, and look forward to more exciting growth and milestones for the organization in the future.” 
In celebration of its 35th anniversary, the Festival is hosting a free public block party on September 12th for the opening of TIFF Bell Lightbox. It continues with TIFF For Free, a week of free screenings in the space, starting with Richard Benner’s Outrageous!, which became one of the most successful films in Canadian film history after its debut at the 1977 Festival. Outrageous! was produced by Festival founders Marshall and Van der Kolk, along with Peter O’’Brian. 
“The Festival is recognized for showcasing the greatest new films from around the world each year,” said Cameron Bailey, Co-Director of the Festival. “This year is no exception, and to thank the public for 35 years of support, we are also offering a lineup of free screenings of great modern classics. From past Festival openers like Deepa Mehta’s Water to Hollywood gems like Paul Haggis’ Crash, the free screenings offer something for every age group and interest.” 
TIFF For Free screenings will be ticketed on a first-come, first-served basis, on the day of the screening at TIFF Bell Lightbox.