Toronto Fest Nears Gender Equality for Women Filmmakers

Toronto Film Festival - Getty - Embed -2020
Brian de Rivera Simon/Getty Images

The event's slimmed-down 2020 film lineup will be 45 percent directed, co-directed or created by women.

As the Toronto Film Festival gets set to host a slimmed-down and virtual 45th edition in September, the traditional awards season launch pad for Hollywood is nearing gender equality.

On Wednesday, TIFF organizers revealed that the 2020 lineup of around 50 movie titles will be 45 percent directed, co-directed or created by women. "Even though TIFF 2020 is a smaller festival, adapted to the moment we’re all in, women are still centre stage," festival organizers said as they touted their Share Her Journey initiative to get more women and their work into the film industry's content pipeline.

Toronto plans gala screenings for Halle Berry's directorial debut, Bruised, Chloe Zhao's Nomadland, starring Frances McDormand, and Regina King's One Night in Miami. Also booked into TIFF are Michelle Latimer's documentary Inconvenient Indian, Emma Seligman's family drama Shiva Baby, Naomi Kawase's True Mothers and Suzanne Lindon's debut feature Spring Blossom.

Last year, TIFF's bigger 2019 lineup of 328 movies — 244 features, 82 shorts — featured 36 percent of its films directed, co-directed or created by women, up slightly from 35 percent in 2018.

Also this year, actors Sheila Atim (Bruised), Rainbow Dickerson (Beans), Tanya Maniktala (A Suitable Boy) and Madeleine Sims-Fewer (Violation) will be feted as TIFF Rising Stars, and veteran Canadian director Tracey Deer will be honored at the TIFF Tribute Awards when she receives the Emerging Talent Award as she premieres her latest film, Beans, in Toronto.

A pandemic-era Toronto Film Festival will run mostly online from Sept. 10-19.