In this episode of The Big Picture, host Sean Fennessey sits down with Cameron Bailey, the CEO of the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), to discuss the effects of the ongoing strikes in Hollywood on the festival. Bailey provides valuable insights into the impact of these strikes on film festivals, the rules surrounding promotions by SAG-AFTRA members, and the importance of the People's Choice Award at TIFF.
One of the key points discussed in this episode is how the strikes in Hollywood have had a trickle-down effect on film festivals like TIFF. Bailey explains that these strikes have resulted in less media attention and fewer industry professionals attending the festival. However, despite these challenges, ticket sales for TIFF remain on par with previous years.
Bailey sheds light on the rules set by SAG-AFTRA, stating that members cannot promote movies produced or released by struck companies. However, he also mentions the existence of interim agreements that allow stars to promote films not covered by the strike. Bailey highlights that documentaries and music documentaries fall into a different category and can be promoted even if they are released by struck companies.
During the conversation, Bailey emphasizes the significance of the People's Choice Award at TIFF. He notes that films winning this award often go on to receive Best Picture nominations at the Oscars. This recognition further solidifies the importance of TIFF as a platform for showcasing exceptional films.
Bailey delves into the competitive nature of film festivals and the jockeying for exclusives. He explains how TIFF prioritizes world premieres while also accommodating films that have premiered at other festivals. This delicate balance ensures that TIFF remains a sought-after destination for filmmakers and industry professionals.
Throughout the episode, Bailey emphasizes the importance of delivering great experiences for filmmakers and industry professionals at TIFF. He shares that his typical day during the festival involves hosting Q&As, introducing films, and meeting with filmmakers. Bailey believes that fostering strong relationships with filmmakers encourages them to return to TIFF in the future.
Bailey concludes the episode by stating that the true measure of success for this year's TIFF will be the quality of the films and the audience's response to them. Despite the challenges posed by the strikes, TIFF remains committed to showcasing outstanding cinema and providing a platform for filmmakers to connect with audiences.
Join host Sean Fennessey and Cameron Bailey as they delve into the impact of Hollywood strikes on the Toronto International Film Festival, the importance of the People's Choice Award, and the behind-the-scenes workings of one of the most prestigious film festivals in the world.