Toronto Festival Signs Exclusive Deal With FilmFreeway for Movie Submissions

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Filmmakers will be able to apply to the prestigious September event from around the world via one website through 2022.

The Toronto International Film Festival is jumping on the FilmFreeway submissions platform.

The prestigious festival has inked a three-year exclusive deal with the Canadian startup to handle all films submitted to its annual September event. Submissions for the 2020 edition of TIFF will officially open Feb. 11 on filmfreeway.com.

Toronto joins Sundance, Tribeca, AFI Fest, Santa Barbara, Edinburgh and the San Francisco film fests in using FilmFreeway as an online festival submissions platform. The announcement was made Thursday by Zachary Jones, chief technology officer and co-founder of FilmFreeway, and TIFF artistic director and co-head Cameron Bailey.

FilmFreeway, which launched in 2014, touts its online platform as giving around 1 million registered filmmakers a way to easily find and submit their projects to film festivals worldwide and pay required fees.

"The reliable and user-friendly submission experience that FilmFreeway provides aligns with our mission and will help us reach and better serve diverse groups of storytellers from all over the world,” said Bailey in a statement.

The FilmFreeway partnership is also another sign that TIFF is embracing the digital world, following the unveiling a deal Wednesday with Canadian media giant Bell Media to see 11 feature films that debuted at the 2019 edition of the fest play on Canada's Crave streaming platform.

The three-year exclusive deal with TIFF also allows FilmFreeway to crack another top-tier film festival with its digital offering.

Added Jones in his own statement: "We are thrilled to be working with TIFF. To serve as the exclusive submission service for such a prestigious film festival is such an honor. We have worked closely with TIFF’s programming team to develop custom functionality to serve their unique processes and demonstrated for them the level of attention and quality that festivals have come to expect when working with FilmFreeway."