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Celebrating its 20th anniversary under TIFF this year, Film Circuit is TIFF’s successful film outreach programme, bringing the best of Canadian and international films and artists to communities across the country.
Film Circuit allows film lovers all over Canada to experience Canadian, independent and foreign films in cities and towns that would not normally have access to these engaging works. Through an alternate model of grassroots distribution, marketing and exhibition, Film Circuit works with over 175 groups in more than 150 communities across Canada, and has established TIFF as a leader in building markets and audiences for Canadian cinema. In the last 20 years, Film Circuit has brought 30,000 screenings to over 4.6 million people from coast to coast.
Film Circuit is a community-building tool that allows local volunteer film enthusiasts to organize events for their neighbours, bringing them together to engage in the arts and discuss issues that emerge from these works. TIFF staff provide support for these communities’ initiatives, helping coordinate special guest visits, arrange film print shipping, assist with marketing and promotion efforts, and more.
Kevin Harrison, Director of Campbell River Festival of Film in Campbell River, BC was invited to attend the Film Circuit Summit at the Toronto International Film Festival this past year. He and his fellow committee member enjoyed private screenings and special events hosted by Film Circuit, where they had a chance to meet and speak with filmmakers. After seeing the film at TIFF, Mr. Harrison knew audiences back home in Campbell River would enjoy Burt’s Buzz and he took the opportunity to invite its director, Jody Shapiro, to his hometown to speak about the film at a Film Circuit screening.
A visit from a filmmaker or special guest can add depth, context and insight to a screening. Film Circuit provides local audiences a unique experience as filmmakers travel across the country to talk about their films and answer questions from the audience. Past guests have included Bruce McDonald, Jean-Marc Vallée, Clement Virgo, Sturla Gunnarsson, Michael McGowan, Ruba Nadda, Deepa Mehta, Jennifer Baichwal, Ingrid Veninger, Don McKellar, David Suzuki, and Jonathan Sobol. Audiences can learn about cultures and people outside their community, or connect to small town stories, such as Big News From Grand Rock, made on small budgets and with little money for distribution, brought to communities that wish to see themselves and their neighbours on the big screen.
Film Circuit would not be possible without the generous support of Telefilm Canada, the Ontario Media Development Corporation, Cineplex Entertainment, and from TIFF donors like you. Communities across Canada—from Charlottetown, PEI, to Hudson, Quebec, to North Bay, Ontario, to Salmon Arm, British Columbia—have benefitted from your donation, and allowed TIFF to extend its reach beyond the walls of TIFF Bell Lightbox, allowing film fans across the country to discover the world through film.
For more information on Film Circuit locations or how to start a film group in your own community, please visit http://tiff.net/filmcircuit