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The Toronto International Film Festival on Monday unveiled plans for a sisters march to spotlight “systemic inequality” faced by women in the film industry for its upcoming 43rd edition.
The Share Her Journey rally on Saturday, Sept. 8, will be held on the fest’s first weekend and along King Street, in front of the TIFF Bell Lightbox headquarters. Maxine Bailey, vp advancement at TIFF, said in a statement that the women’s march would protest gender inequality and sexual harassment in the film industry in the wake of allegations and criminal charges against Harvey Weinstein and other industry heavyweights.
“In the past year, the #MeToo movement, Time’s Up and several high-profile criminal prosecutions have exposed a harsh reality about the film industry. It’s a reality that women have known about for generations, but it’s finally getting the attention it deserves,” said Bailey.
“To put it bluntly, there is a dark side to the film industry — a culture where sexual assault, gender disparity, and sexism run rampant. It’s a culture we cannot and will not accept,” she added.
Earlier women’s marches at rival film festivals included the Respect Rally at Sundance and Cannes Film Festival jury president Cate Blanchett leading a women’s march up the steps of the Palais in Cannes.
Bailey said the eyes of the global film business will be on Toronto in September, giving the festival a chance to hold its own protest. “This is our opportunity to stand side-by-side and speak out against the systemic inequality that has plagued our industry for far too long,” she insisted.
There is no word on speakers for TIFF’s Share Her Journey rally, but they are expected to come from among the many celebrity actresses and directors set to show their latest work in Toronto.
The Toronto International Film Festival is set to run Sept. 6-16.
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