Statement from the Toronto International Film Festival on Roger Ebert

by W. Andrew Powell
Toronto International Film Festival

The Toronto International Film Festival released a statement today regarding the passing of film critic and famed journalist Roger Ebert, who lost his battle with Cancer at the age of 70.

Ebert has long been recognized as a major support of the annual Toronto International Film Festival, covering the festival even during recent years when he was recovering from surgery.

“We are terribly saddened by the news of the passing of our friend Roger Ebert. More than a friend, Roger was family. He knew us from our humble beginnings, stuck by us, and helped us grow, as only family can do.”

“It is no exaggeration to say that Roger, through his championing, had a large hand in making us who we are today on the world stage. He was a pioneer, a true lover of film. His passing is a huge loss for cinema. He inspired us and will continue to inspire generations. We are taking this opportunity to remember and celebrate our beloved friend, Roger Ebert.”

“Our hearts go out to Chaz and to their family and friends.”

On Twitter, festival artistic director Cameron Bailey simply wrote: “Movies are human documents. They show us our soul. Roger Ebert taught me that. Rest in peace.”

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