Filippelli stepping down at Toronto film fest

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TORONTO -- Giulia Filippelli, head of the Toronto International Film Festival's sales and industry office, is leaving after three years in the post, the festival said Friday.

Festival organizers said that Filippelli, now based in London, is leaving "due to personal reasons," and will be replaced by longtime deputy Stefan Wirthensohn, effective Jan. 1.

Filippelli will remain with the festival as a strategic consultant for the foreseeable future, the festival said. She will accompany Wirthensohn and festival co-director Noah Cowan to the upcoming Berlin International Film Festival.

Under Filippelli, Toronto continued to match film buyers and sellers as part of an unofficial market. While there are no sales booths or screenings as in Cannes or AFM, Filippelli encouraged Toronto's unofficial market to spawn film deals in hotel and cinema lobbies, or at an informal industry center. And she encouraged buyers and sellers to focus on the festival's 300-strong film lineup, rather than pitch entire slates.

"I am very proud of the achievements of the sales and industry office at TIFF," Filippelli said in a statement. "I am confident the office will thrive under Stefan's leadership and look forward to staying involved."
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