TIFF to return to in-person screenings and red carpet events this year

By Zach Harper

Films starring Timothee Chalamet, Zendaya, Javier Bardem, Oscar Isaac, Melissa McCarthy, Naomi Watts and Netflix sensation Anya Taylor-Joy are set to screen at this year's Toronto International Film Festival.

In 2020, TIFF was a mostly digital affair, with some drive-in screenings held throughout the city and no red carpets. This year, movie buffs will be able to attend screenings at three downtown theatres in addition to outdoor and drive-in ones, and red carpet events will be back – with some restrictions.

One hundred films will show at TIFF this year, including Jagged, a new documentary about Alanis Morissette, and Denis Villeneuve's long-awaited Dune, starring Timothee, Zendaya and more. In a non-pandemic year, TIFF typically sees 250 films screen during the festival, but a return to in-person screenings and red carpets makes this event much different from last year.

While Canada's border with the United States is still closed and will remain so until at least July 21, TIFF's Joana Vicente told CBC News all red carpets will follow social distancing rules and anyone on them will need to wear masks. They will also be worked around "which talent is in Canada" during the festival, she told the outlet.

"We probably won't be able to have the same kind of red carpets that we're used to, but we're definitely hoping that we can receive some talent and international press and industry members," Joana also told The Globe and Mail. "It is an evolving situation, but we're incredibly optimistic given how many people in Toronto have received at least their first dose, and it's only June. We believe we'll be in a much better space in September."

Audience members won't need to be vaccinated to attend screenings, but that may change, and concession services will not be available.

TIFF will announce more films on July 20 and 28. Tickets go on sale June 30.

Here are the films announced for TIFF 2021 so far:

Belfast (Judi Dench, Kenneth Branagh)
Dune (Timothee Chalamet, Zendaya, Javier Bardem, Oscar Isaac)
Dionne Warwick: Don't Make Me Over
Jagged (Alanis Morissette)
Last Night in Soho (Anna Taylor-Joy, Matt Smith)
Night Raiders
Petite Maman
The Starling (Melissa McCarthy)

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