TIFF 2020 announces key dates, tickets & screening venues

by W. Andrew Powell
David Byrne's American Utopia

The Toronto International Film Festival announced ticket details and screening venues for TIFF 2020 today, and while it’s a dramatic shift from previous years, the annual celebration of cinema continues.

The festival runs this year from September 10 to 19, 2020, and includes a creative mix of indoor cinemas, digital screenings, drive-ins, and open-air cinema experiences.

Indoor screenings, following public health protocols, will take place at TIFF Bell Lightbox and Isabel Bader Theatre, while drive-ins and open-air cinema will take place at the Visa Skyline Drive-In at CityView, RBC Lakeside Drive-In at Ontario Place, and West Island Open Air Cinema at Ontario Place.

David Byrne’s American Utopia, directed by Spike Lee, will open TIFF 2020, and the festival will feature 50 films in total, including Ammonite, starring ate Winslet and Saoirse Ronan; Michelle Latimer adaptation of Inconvenient Indian; Shadow In The Cloud, starring Chloë Grace Moretz; Viggo Mortensen’s Falling; and Regina King’s One Night in Miami.

Prices start at $19 and go up to $69, for drive-in theatres. Tickets go on sale starting on August 28, for TIFF Patrons Circle Members, and September 5, for the public. Scroll down for all the details, including key dates.

“TIFF 2020 is a film festival for the moment: fresh, diverse, unique stories from around the world, brought together at venues in and around the city, and a sophisticated, secure digital platform, now called Bell Digital Cinema, for home viewing,” the festival announced today.

“In keeping with precautionary measures provided by both the City of Toronto and Public Health Ontario there will be reduced capacity at the TIFF Bell Lightbox cinemas and Isabel Bader Theatre. Bell Digital Cinema, drive-ins, and open-air cinema will also have a limit on capacity.”

Full details on where you can see each film will be announced on Tuesday, August 25, including details on special events. This year, all tickets sales will be sold online or by phone only.

Digital screening for the public on Bell Digital Cinema will only be accessible to people located in Canada for TIFF 2020. Screening options will allow people to watch films on their TVs using Chromecast, or for Apple users, a new TIFF app will be available in the App Store on September 9. There will be anti-piracy measures in place to protect films, including watermarking.

“We’re thankful to every filmmaker, company, donor, member, and partner that has joined us on this adventure,” Bailey and Vicente said in the press release. “We are here today because of our commitment to great programming, to collaboration, to bringing audiences together through the love of film, and to celebrating the amazing audiences we have right here in our city of Toronto. We are truly proud and excited to share this news today.”

Find out more about the films playing TIFF this year.


August 24–September 9: Call centre opens from 10am to 6pm daily

August 25: Official Film Schedule announced on tiff.net

August 28: Individual tickets for purchase à la carte to TIFF Patrons Circle Members according to level

September 2: Contributors Circle individual-ticket pre-sale

September 3: Members 365 individual-ticket pre-sale

September 4: Insiders’ individual-ticket pre-sale

September 5: Public individual-tickets on-sale

September 8–9: Box office opens from 10am to 6pm daily


All prices include taxes and fees.

TIFF Bell Lightbox & Isabel Bader Theatre
Regular film screenings: $19
Premium film screenings: $26

Bell Digital Cinema
Regular film screenings: $19
Premium film screenings: $26

Drive-in screenings (Visa Skyline Drive-In at CityView and RBC Lakeside Drive-In at Ontario Place)
Car with 1–2 people: $49
Car with 3+ people: $69

Open-air cinema screenings (West Island Open Air Cinema at Ontario Place)
Lawn Pod for 2 people (pedestrian): $38

Visit TIFF for more information. Stay tuned to The GATE’s TIFF coverage before, during, and after the festival.

TIFF continues to work closely with the Province of Ontario, the City of Toronto, and public health officials on the safe execution of the Festival, with its number-one priority being the health and well-being of both Festival filmgoers and the residents of the entire community. The province’s Stage 3 reopening guidelines currently cap a movie theatre’s occupancy at 50 guests per cinema depending on the total capacity of the theatre. Additionally, TIFF has partnered with Medcan, a global health care leader providing medical expertise, consultation, and health inspiration to achieve its mission of helping people “Live Well for Life.” Based on the pillars of evidence-based care, exceptional client service, and the latest in technology, Medcan’s team of over 90 physicians and specialists support employee health care across the continuum of health, including its “Safe at Work System” helping organizations navigate the pandemic.

The worldwide health crisis has affected everyone working in the cultural industries, and TIFF has been severely impacted. Its role in the ecosystem of the film industry was the impetus to move forward, to deliver a film festival that inspires and engages audiences, and to serve as a beacon of hope for Toronto, for filmmakers, and for the international film industry. TIFF is the cornerstone of a $2-billion-a-year film industry in Toronto, generates more than $200 million in annual economic activity for the City of Toronto and the Province of Ontario, and is the chief market to launch Canadian film content into the global marketplace.

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