TIFF Announces 2019 Festival Programmes and Programmers

TIFF Announces 2019 Festival Programmes and Programmers

Today, TIFF announced a new generation of film experts and curators who have been appointed as Lead Programmers for the 44th Toronto International Film Festival. The new programming team features some of the most sought after and valuable voices in the industry and comprises 50% women.

"We're proud to bring fresh, new voices forward to join our veteran programmers," said Cameron Bailey, TIFF's Artistic Director and Co-Head. "This team's range of expertise and perspectives is critical to the Festival's success. We will continue to commit to gender parity and showcasing under-represented visions in cinema as we secure the very best films from all over the world for our audience. At the same time, we'll give clearer identities to Festival sections by giving Lead Programmers a stronger voice in shaping the character and tone of their section, in collaboration with the programming team."

Eachyear, the Discovery programme presents new works from emerging filmmakers and is an important stepping stone for many young directors. This year the programme, which has helped launch the careers of award-winning directors like Maren Ade, BARRY Jenkins, Steve Mc Queen, Christopher Nolan, and Dee Rees, will be tightened to feature world premieres - exclusively. TIFF is pleased to announce that Dorota Lech will take on the role of Lead Programmer for Discovery. Lech began her journey with TIFF as a Programming Associate for the documentary programme and a film scout for Eastern Europe. For the past five years she has also programmed TIFF's Documentary Conference. Her extensive experience curating festival programming around the globe makes her an exceptional choice for this role, and TIFF looks forward to finding out what direction the Discovery programme will take next.

Kiva Reardon will become Lead Programmer for the Contemporary WorldCinema programme ,our global snapshot of the best cinema from around the world. A film critic and founder of the feminist film journal cle?o, Reardon worked as a TIFF Programming Associate before serving as Programmer for AFRICA and the Middle East regions in 2017 and 2018. Her global perspective and critical eye are tremendous assets to this programme. This year TIFF will relax the premiere status requirements for Contemporary World Cinema, with Reardon and the team seeking the very best films of the year from around the world, regardless of where they have played previously.

Ravi Srinivasan will join the Canadian Features team as International Programmer. Srinivasan has served as a Programming Associate for TIFF since 2013, and this year will take on a larger role alongside Steve Gravestock.

Michael Lerman steps into a broader role supporting the USA andSpecial Presentations programming,and Geoff Macnaughton, Senior Manager, Festival Programming, takes over curation of the Primetime programme. Macnaughton began his career with TIFF in 2009 and has been responsible for managing the growing needs of our delegate bases, building new industry partnerships as the Senior Manager of Industry, and moonlighting as co-host of the TIFF Long Take podcast. TIFF will also announce the appointment of a new Senior Director of Film, who will lead Special Presentations programming, in late spring.

Now in its fifth year, Platform CHAMPIONS up to 12 works with high artistic merit that also demonstrate a strong directorial vision. All films in the programme are eligible for the Toronto Platform Prize, an award of $25,000 CAD selected by a jury of high-profile filmmakers. Cameron Bailey and Andre?a Picard will co-curate the films in the section, with a Platform selection committee that includes programmers Ming-Jenn Lim, Lydia Ogwang, and Brad Deane. Picard brings years of experience to this expanded role,having spent 12 years as a member of the TIFF Cinematheque programming team before moving on to curate selections for TIFF's Wavelengths programme starting in 2006. Lim joined TIFF in 2009 as part of the Film Circuit department before moving into the role of Manager of Theatrical Programming, responsible for selecting and presenting the best of current independent and world cinema year-round. Ogwang, a writer and former editor of cle?o journal, joined the TIFF Cinematheque team as a Coordinator in 2018.

Deane, who has led the TIFF Cinematheque programme for the past seven years, will also expand his role as Lead Programmer for the M asters section, featuring the latest bold, exciting, and moving works from masters of contemporary cinema from around the world. Filmmakers that have been previously showcased in this programme include Pedro Almodo?var, Wim Wenders, Hirokazu Kore-eda, Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne, and Hong Sang-soo. And Christoph Straub will programme the Festival's In Conversation With... series,expanding on his current role programming the same series of events year-round at TIFF Bell Lightbox.

Finally, Robyn Citizen, a film curator, scholar, and educator who joined the Toronto International Film Festival in 2018 as a Programming Associate before being named a programmer for the Human Rights Film Festival, will be working alongside Jason Anderson in programming the 2019 Short Cuts programme.

These programmers join their peers in curating a Festival that features some of the most diverse and thought-provoking stories from some of the world's greatest and up-and-coming creators.

The 2019 Toronto International Film Festival programmes are: Contemporary World Cinema

Compelling stories, global perspectives.


Directors to watch. The future of world cinema.

Gala Presentations

Movie stars. Red-carpet premieres. Major audience interest.

In Conversation With...

Engaging onstage conversations with leaders in the film industry and beyond.


The latest from the world's most influential art-house filmmakers.

Midnight Madness

The wild side: midnight screenings of the best in action, horror, shock, and fantasy cinema.


Directors' cinema now. Launched in 2015, this juried programme shines a light on up to 12 selections that demonstrate directorial vision from international filmmakers.


Serial storytelling: television in its artistic renaissance.

Short Cuts

The world. In short form.

Special Presentations

High-profile premieres and the world's leading filmmakers.

TIFF Cinematheque

Curated gems from the history of Canadian and international cinema.


Candid and unscripted: the best non-fiction cinema from around the world.


Daring, visionary, and autonomous voices. Works that expand our notion of the moving image.

Special Events

Unique Experiences - one time only.

The 2019 Toronto International Film Festival sub-programmes are: TIFF Next Wave

Perspectives for the next generation of film lovers.

TIFF Speaker Series

Watch, experience, and participate in post-screening discussions with film directors and subject experts.

The 2019 Toronto International Film Festival Programmers are: Cameron Bailey, Artistic Director & Co-Head

Gala Presentations, Special Presentations, Platform, South Asia

Jason Anderson

Lead Programmer, Short Cuts

Jennifer Barkin

Lead Programmer, Special Events, Festival Street

Robyn Citizen

International Programmer, Short Cuts

Brad Deane

Lead Programmer, Masters, TIFF Cinematheque; Platform Selection Committee

Giovanna Fulvi

Senior International Programmer, East and Southeast Asia

Steve Gravestock

Senior International Programmer, Canada, the Philippines, Nordic Region

Peter Kuplowsky

Lead Programmer, Midnight Madness

Dorota Lech

Lead Programmer, Discovery
International Programmer, Central & Eastern Europe

Michael Lerman

Co-Lead Programmer, Special Presentations International Programmer, USA

Ming-Jenn Lim

Platform Selection Committee

Geoff Macnaughton

Lead Programmer, Primetime

Miche?le Maheux

Senior International Programmer, Ireland

Lydia Ogwang

Platform Selection Committee

Andre?a Picard

Lead Curator, Wavelengths; Co-Curator, Platform

Thom Powers

Lead Programmer, TIFF Docs

Kiva Reardon

Lead Programmer, Contemporary World Cinema International Programmer, Africa, the Middle East

Karina Rotenstein

Industry Conference Programmer

Diana Sanchez

Senior International Programmer, Spain, Portugal, Latin America, Caribbean

Ravi Srinivasan

International Programmer, Canada

Christoph Straub

Lead Programmer, In Conversation With...

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