Monday, May 11, 2015

40th Toronto International Film Festival announces its programmers

Piers Handling, Director and CEO of TIFF, and Cameron Bailey, Artistic Director of the Toronto International Film Festival, reveal the team of 22 programmers who will make the selections for the 40th Toronto International Film Festival, which runs Thursday, September 10 through Sunday, September 20, 2015.

Piers Handling
Europe, City to City: London, Special Presentations, Gala Presentations
Handling is the Director and Chief Executive Officer of TIFF. He has held this position since 1994, and is responsible for leading both the operational and artistic growth of the organization. Under Handling’s direction, TIFF has grown to become an internationally renowned cultural institution. He has curated numerous film retrospectives, presented programmes of Canadian cinema, sat on festival juries all around the world, and has published extensively on Canadian cinema. In 2013, Handling co-curated a multi-platform celebration of iconic Canadian director David Cronenberg, the exhibition component of which is currently touring to cultural institutions worldwide. In 2014, Handling was invested into the Order of Ontario, the province’s highest official honour.

Cameron Bailey
Western Europe, South Asia, the Caribbean, USA, City to City: London, Special Presentations, Gala Presentations
Bailey is the Artistic Director of the Toronto International Film Festival. Since 2008 he has been responsible for the overall vision and execution of the Festival’s selection. Bailey began programming for the organization in 1990, and worked both as a film programmer and film critic for 20 years before taking on his current role. As a programmer and curator, he has organized film series for local and international festivals and galleries including the National Gallery of Canada and Australia’s Sydney International Film Festival.

Michèle Maheux
Ireland, the Netherlands, Special Presentations, Gala Presentations
Celebrating her 27th Festival this September, Maheux is the Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer for TIFF, where she is responsible for all business operations of the $44-million cultural charity — including TIFF Bell Lightbox, the organization’s year-round home. She has been a member of provincial, municipal, industry and arts organization committees, and has served as a juror at international film festivals and as a mentor within the industry. In 2011 she was recognized by WXN among the Top 100 Most Powerful Women in Canada and in 2012 she was awarded, with Piers Handling, the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal. She is Vice Chair of the Board of Governors of Ryerson University and is a Director of the Movie Theatre Association of Canada.

Kerri Craddock
Belgium, Special Presentations, Gala Presentations
Craddock is the Director of Programming for the Festival. She joined the organization in 2007 and regularly represents the Festival at the Sundance, Berlin and Cannes film festivals. Craddock served on the jury for the 2013 Philadelphia Film Festival Feature Documentary Competition, the Canada’s Top Ten Film Festival features panel in 2012, and on the National Ballet of Canada’s Turnout Cabinet from 2011 to 2014. She will speak on a panel at the 2015 Cannes festival discussing Swedish films.

Jesse Wente
Wente is the Director of Film Programmes at TIFF, overseeing new releases, series and TIFF Cinematheque programming and scheduling, as well as TIFF’s national distribution program Film Circuit. Some of his contributions to programming since the opening of TIFF Bell Lightbox in 2010 include retrospectives on Roman Polanski, Paul Verhoeven, Ousmane Sembène, Oscar Micheaux, Studio Ghibli and Robert Altman. Prior to his role as Director, Wente served as one of the Canadian features programmers for the Toronto International Film Festival, and also programmed for the imagineNATIVE Film and Media Festival.

Jason Anderson
Short Cuts
Anderson is co-programmer for the Festival’s Short Cuts programme. He has written about film and the arts for a wide variety of Canadian and international publications, and was a long-time film critic and columnist for The Grid and its predecessor Eye Weekly. He contributes regularly to such publications as Cinema Scope, Sight & Sound, Uncut, Montage, POV, the Toronto Star and the National Post. He teaches criticism and feature writing at the University of Toronto and Ryerson University, and has been the Director of Programming for the Kingston Canadian Film Festival since 2010. Anderson sat on the jury for the Festival’s Best Canadian Feature Film award in 2014, and previously served on competition juries including the Canada’s Top Ten Film Festival, the Canadian Screen Awards, Hot Docs, Reel Asian, the Toronto Jewish Film Festival and the Images Festival.

Brad Deane
TIFF Cinematheque
Deane is a Senior Manager of Film Programmes at TIFF and part of the programming team for TIFF Cinematheque, which selects and presents the classics of world cinema and contemporary art-house films year-round at TIFF Bell Lightbox. Since 2012, Deane has led the curation of the TIFF Cinematheque programme for the Festival, which showcases recent restorations and preserved archival prints from the history of Canadian and international cinema. In 2013, he sat on the jury for the Best Short Film Discovery Award at the 52nd edition of La Semaine de la Critique.

Dimitri Eipides
Eastern and Central Europe, Western and Central Asia, Greece
Eipides has been with the Festival since 1988. His extensive programming career began when he established the Independent Filmmakers Cooperative in Montreal in 1969. In 1971, Eipides founded the Festival International du Nouveau Cinéma et de la Vidéo de Montréal, where he served as Director until 1994. In 1992 he began his tenure as Artistic Director of the New Horizons section of the Thessaloniki International Festival in Greece, and in 1999 he founded the Thessaloniki Documentary Festival – Images of the 21st Century, for which he still acts as Director. He was named General Director of the Thessaloniki International Film Festival in 2010. In June he’ll receive a special citation by the Ambassador of Canada in Athens recognizing his contributions to Canada-Greece relations.

Giovanna Fulvi
East and Southeast Asia
Fulvi has been programming for the Festival since 2002. She is based in Italy, where she works as a programming consultant for the Rome Film Festival, and has served as a film consultant and acquisitions manager for various organizations over the past 19 years, including the International Film Festival Rotterdam and the Torino Film Festival. Fulvi is currently the Head of Acquisitions for Filmauro in Rome. She also worked on Bernardo Bertolucci’s The Last Emperor as a historical and cultural researcher.

Colin Geddes
Midnight Madness, Vanguard
A programmer with the Festival since 1998, Geddes’ additional programming efforts have included the Asian rep theatre Golden Classics Cinema, TIFF Cinematheque, FantAsia Toronto, and ActionFest in Asheville, North Carolina, where he served as Festival Director for two years. In 2004 he founded Ultra 8 Pictures, using his strong understanding of international festivals and genre cinema to help filmmakers and bring offbeat international films to Canada and the world. Together with his wife Katarina Gligorijević, Geddes currently programs The Royal, a restored art deco cinema in downtown Toronto.

Steve Gravestock
Canada, the Philippines, Nordic Region
Gravestock has selected Canadian feature films for the Festival since 2004, and previously programmed films from India, Australia, and the Netherlands. As a Senior Programmer at TIFF he is responsible for the organization’s year-round Canadian programming initiatives, including the Canada’s Top Ten Film Festival and the year-round Canadian Open Vault programme featuring homegrown classics. Gravestock also oversees TIFF’s ongoing series of monographs on Canadian films and filmmakers.

Danis Goulet
Short Cuts
Goulet is co-programmer for the Festival’s Short Cuts programme. She is the former Artistic Director of the imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival, and has curated award-winning short film commissioning projects. She has developed initiatives for the Ontario Arts Council, served on the boards of the Toronto Arts Council and the Images Festival, and is a former programming committee member for the CFC Worldwide Short Film Festival. Goulet’s works as a filmmaker have screened at numerous festivals in Canada and around the world, including the Toronto International Film Festival, Berlinale, imagineNATIVE and the Sundance Film Festival. She is an alumnus of the TIFF Talent Lab and the National Screen Institute’s Drama Prize Program.

Michael Lerman
Lerman joined the Festival in 2013 and is the programmer for the Festival’s new Primetime programme which presents the best in international television on the big screen. Since 2010, he has been the Artistic Director of the Philadelphia Film Society, and currently serves as the Senior Programmer for the Stanley Film Festival. Previously, he has programmed for the Woodstock Film Festival, the Montclair Film Festival and Fantastic Fest. Lerman is the co-founder of the independent production company Tiger Industry Films.

Kathleen McInnis
Short Cuts
McInnis joined the Festival’s programming team in 2014 and is co-programmer for Short Cuts. She is a film strategist with a background in film festivals and publicity consulting. A veteran of the global film festival circuit, she has programmed for the Seattle International Film Festival and served as Festival Director for the Slamdance Film Festival and the Palm Springs International ShortFest. McInnis currently teaches film festival strategies at the University of California, Los Angeles, and has guest lectured at the University of Southern California, New York University’s Tisch/Asia (Singapore), Brooklyn College and Columbia College Chicago film schools. She is a member of BAFTA-LA, Australians in Film, and Film Independent.

Elizabeth Muskala
As the Director of Youth Learning, Muskala oversees all aspects of the organization’s extensive year-round programming for children, youth, educators, families and TIFF’s charitable initiatives. She is lead programmer and facilitator of the TIFF Kids International Film Festival, the TIFF Next Wave Film Festival, TIFF Kids selections at the Toronto International Film Festival, and co-curator of digiPlaySpace, an award-winning interactive media exhibition for children.

Andréa Picard
Picard has worked for TIFF since 1999, and was a member of the TIFF Cinematheque programming team for 12 years. Since 2006 she has curated Wavelengths, the Festival’s critically acclaimed avant-garde programme. As an independent writer and curator, she has collaborated with local and international institutions such as Le Centre Pompidou, Vienna’s Belvedere and MAK museums, the 25FPS festival in Zagreb, and the Secession. Picard has sat on juries for numerous organizations and festivals worldwide. She currently sits on the Advisory Board of the Images Festival, and is a former Board Member of Art Metropole.

Thom Powers
Powers has served as an International Documentary Programmer for the Festival since 2006. He created and leads the Festival’s Doc Conference, and for nine years he programmed the Mavericks discussion series hosting cinematic innovators. Powers also oversees programming for the digital streaming service SundanceNOW Doc Club, and programs for the Miami International Film Festival. He and his wife, Raphaela Neihausen, serve as directors of DOC NYC, run the weekly documentary screening series Stranger than Fiction at Manhattan’s IFC Center, and helped start the New Jersey–based Montclair Film Festival, which they ran for three years. Powers teaches documentary producing at the School of Visual Arts, and previously taught for 12 years at New York University.

Rasha Salti
Africa, the Middle East
Salti, an independent film and visual-arts curator and writer, joined the Festival in 2011. She served as a film programmer and creative director for the New York–based ArteEast, where she directed two editions of the biennial CinemaEast Film Festival. She has collaborated with a number of organizations, including the Musée Jeu de Paume in Paris, and the Tate Modern in London. Salti was one of the co-curators of the 10th edition of the Sharjah Biennial for the Arts in 2010. In February 2015, she co-curated the exhibition Past Disquiet; Ghosts and Narratives from the International Art Exhibition for Palestine (Beirut, 1978), which was inaugurated at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Barcelona (MACBA).

Diana Sanchez
Spain, Portugal, Latin America
Sanchez has worked with the Festival since 2002. She is also active with a variety of other festivals and cinematic presentations, serving as the Artistic Director for the International Film Festival Panama, and a programme consultant for the Miami International Film Festival, where she co-created the Encuentros programme, an initiative that helps fund films in post-production. She also programs Latin Wave with the PROA Foundation in Argentina, a series that screens internationally. Sanchez has served on the jury for the Ecuadorian Ministry of Culture Film Fund, the Havana Film Festival and the script-development fund at the Colombian Ministry of Culture.

Jane Schoettle
Australia, New Zealand, Israel, Germany, USA
Having worked with TIFF since 2002, Schoettle is the founder and former director of the TIFF Kids International Film Festival (formerly Sprockets). She has participated in numerous film residency programmes, including the South Australian Film Corporation at the Adelaide Film Festival and Screen Australia in Sydney, and served most recently on the jury for the Jerusalem Film Lab. Schoettle also works as an independent script consultant and programmes American Independents for the Miami International Film Festival.

Magali Simard
Simard is the Manager of Film Programmes at TIFF, working on new releases, TIFF Cinematheque, the Human Rights Watch Film Festival and ongoing film series. Bringing her experience in the Canadian film industry and deep knowledge of Quebec cinema, she sits on the programming team for the Toronto International Film Festival’s Canadian feature films. She co-programmed the Festival’s Short Cuts Canada section for five years. Simard has served on juries for the Berlinale Teddy Awards, Rio de Janeiro’s Curta Cinema, the Festival du Nouveau Cinema and the Sundance Film Festival.

Shane Smith
Short Cuts
Smith serves as the Director of Special Projects for TIFF, and oversees the Festival’s Short Cuts programme. Since joining TIFF in 2010, he is responsible for a variety of year-round initiatives such as TIFF in the Park and the touring digiPlaySpace digital exhibition. In his prior role as Director of Public Programmes, Smith oversaw the TIFF Kids International Film Festival and the TIFF Next Wave Film Festival. He has previously programmed for Inside Out and the Sundance Film Festival, and he was director of the CFC Worldwide Short Film Festival from 2001 to 2005.

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About TIFF
TIFF is a charitable cultural organization whose mission is to transform the way people see the world, through film. An international leader in film culture, TIFF projects include the annual Toronto International Film Festival in September; TIFF Bell Lightbox, which features five cinemas, major exhibitions, and learning and entertainment facilities; and innovative national distribution program Film Circuit. The organization generates an annual economic impact of $189 million CAD. TIFF Bell Lightbox is generously supported by contributors including Founding Sponsor Bell, the Province of Ontario, the Government of Canada, the City of Toronto, the Reitman family (Ivan Reitman, Agi Mandel and Susan Michaels), The Daniels Corporation and RBC. For more information, visit

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