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Charting a new era: Unveiling the highly anticipated Industry Conference at TIFF 2023, poised to welcome a thriving surge in attendees

Industry Conference takes place September 8–12

New this year is the Sloan Science and Technology Project Pitch

TIFF 2023 takes place September 7–17


The Toronto International Film Festival is excited to return on September 7–17 and welcome thousands of international and Canadian professionals back to Toronto, where it will once again host the five-day Industry Conference, supported by Ontario Creates and Telefilm. The event serves as a vital platform for business development, lead generation, and networking initiatives, creating space for professionals to connect, learn, and explore the latest trends impacting the industry today. Running alongside the public film Festival, this year’s Industry Conference will be held at the Glenn Gould Studio from September 8–12, with Spotlight sessions taking place each morning at TIFF Bell Lightbox. New this year is the Sloan Science and Technology Project Pitch, which allows creatives to pitch their science- and/or technology-focused projects.
“Early indicators show that industry attendance at this year’s Festival will be up by 10% over 2022. We are primed to welcome professionals from around the world back to Toronto this September, providing them with a healthy slate of programming and business-to-business opportunities,” said Geoff Macnaughton, Senior Director, Industry and Theatrical. “Our Industry Conference will welcome champions, decision-makers, and trendsetters who are all helping to shape a thriving and more inclusive industry. In addition to the Conference, we have introduced more ways for sales, networking, and project development to be fostered.”

As announced earlier this year, TIFF and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation partnered in support of science on screen. The new initiative, Breakthroughs: The Sloan Science on Screen Programme, puts science in the spotlight and equips screen creators with industry connections and creative support at TIFF to further their science- and/or technology-focused projects. Launching at TIFF 2023 is the TIFF Sloan Science and Technology Project Pitch, which will provide four Canadian and international creators the opportunity to pitch their film or episodic project in front of a live audience of industry experts and decision-makers. Each creator selected for the non-competitive pitch event will be awarded $15,000 CAD to develop their project and will receive mentorship from an expert pitch coach in advance of the event.

Under the direction of TIFF’s Chief Programming Officer, Anita Lee, this year’s Industry Conference is programmed and developed by Macnaughton and Jane Kim, Industry Programming Producer, and managed by Amara Nwogu.

Returning are the six pillars that make up the fabric of TIFF’s Industry Conference programming: Visionaries, Dialogues, Perspectives, Connections, Microsessions, and Spotlights:

  • Visionaries are inspirational conversations with individuals who are forging creative and business pathways in the industry. The Media Partner for the programme is The Hollywood Reporter. More information on the Visionaries sessions will be available later this summer.
  • Dialogues are intimate conversations on the art and craft of storytelling and filmmaking, featuring screen-based creators (directors, producers, and series creators) and industry professionals. Some topics to be covered this year include the increasing audience demand for complex serialized stories rich in global appeal, the feature-film development of projects within an ever-changing landscape, and a focus on European producers and production. The Media Partner for Dialogues is Variety and the programme is supported by Ontario Creates. More information on the Dialogues sessions will be available closer to the Festival.
  • Perspectives are moderated and focused discussions on the current state and future of the industry. This year’s Perspectives sessions offer a spotlight on Korean diaspora creators, as well as a session on the state of international series, from co-productions to development and presentation. The Media Partner for Perspectives is Screen International. More information on the Perspectives sessions will be available closer to the Festival.
  • Connections are intimate networking sessions giving emerging to mid-career filmmakers the opportunity to interact with industry experts and gain practical knowledge to move their projects and understanding of the industry forward. The media partner for Connections is Playback. More information on the Connections sessions will be available later this summer.
  • Microsessions are collaborative programming with TIFF’s brand partners in sessions that emphasize the opportunities and expertise that many working professionals can gain from some of the world’s leading brands and cultural organizations. With TIFF’s partner-led programming, attendees hear directly about a variety of topics from thought leaders with a wide range of experiences to share.
  • Spotlights are a great way to expand one’s delegate network, build bridges, and develop new business opportunities in Toronto. Spotlights are a collaboration with leading partner organizations, and are designed to maximize the B2B experience over a breakfast networking session. From pitches and keynotes to presentations, one-to-one speed meetings, and casual networking, each event offers a unique perspective and distinct experience.

Some of the topics and speakers confirmed to date include Nataleah Hunter-Young, PhD, TIFF International Programmer, who will programme and moderate a Perspectives session on African Cinema. Jason Ryle, International Programmer, Indigenous Cinema, will programme and moderate a Dialogues session on Directors. Jason Anderson, International Programmer & Short Cuts Lead, will present a Connections session on short films, as well as a Dialogues Pathways from Shorts to First Features session. Supporting the Industry Conference programming once again is Thom Powers, TIFF International Programmer, Documentaries, who will return with a full slate of documentary-focused sessions on September 12, providing insightful conversations with leading documentary filmmakers.

The Industry Conference Happy Hour returns for 2023. Daily networking cocktail hours will follow each day’s programming at the Glenn Gould Studio. Accredited delegates are encouraged to join each day’s Conference programming network over drinks with support from some of TIFF’s most engaged partners.

Industry and press delegates are invited to follow @TIFF_Industry on Twitter for the latest announcements, updates, and live tweets from the Industry Conference and the Festival. Join the conversation to connect with other delegates, stimulate conversation, and amplify important discussions.

Further details on TIFF Industry programmes and Talent Development initiatives will follow throughout the summer.

Access to the 2023 TIFF Industry Conference will be accessible by Industry and Press accreditation. Online registration is now open through August 25th. To learn more about passes and price points, visit A limited number of individual tickets to sessions will be available via starting August 15th.

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