12 September, 2010

Bell Lightbox: An Instant Film Treasure

by Sandy Mandelberger, North American Editor

The Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), one of the largest and most important film events in the world, unveils its permanent home today with a day long “block party”. The Festival, which is celebrating its 35th anniversary this year, was once centered in the chic Yorkville neighborhood, north of the urban center. This year, however, the Festival has moved to the city’s Entertainment District, home to its live theaters and the city’s most trendy district, about three kilometers downtown.

Anchoring the new location is the Bell Lightbox, the five-screen cinematheque that opens today. Designed by world-renowned architectural firm KPMB, this unique facility will provide an essential meeting place for film professionals, educators and film lovers from around the globe. The Daniels Corporation and the Reitman family – acclaimed filmmaker Ivan Reitman and his sisters Agi Mandel and Susan Michaels – who together form the King and John Festival Corporation, have helped TIFF to realize its dream of a building dedicated to film.

Destined to become Toronto’s version of the National Film Theater in London, the facility will offer first-run indie and international films, as well as play a classic repertory program of what it calls “essential cinema”. Already being used as of today as a TIFF venue, when the Festival is over on September 19, the complex will offer exclusive theatrical engagements of such films as the Cannes Palme d’Or winner UNCLE BOONMEE WHO CAN RECALL HIS PAST LIVES and Quebec wunderkind director Xavier Dolan’s LES AMOURS IMAGINAIRES.

The complex also will offer film-related art exhibitions, including the celebrated Tim Burton retrospective mounted by New York’s Museum of Modern Art earlier this year. TIFF Cinematheque is a year-long initiative to bring the very best of cinema to the local public. Highlights include a six-channel audio version of the Alfred Hitchcock classic PSYCHO, as well as newly struck prints of such landmark films as BREATHLESS, L’AVVENTURA, THE THIRD MAN and TAXI DRIVER.

The Bell Lightbox, in one sure stroke, becomes an international film destination that reinforces Toronto’s reputation as one of the prime film towns on the planet. For more information, log on to:

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