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Toronto Film Festival Dailies

The 48th edition of the Toronto International Film Festival takes place Thursday, September 7—17, 2023 in Canada's most vibrant and exciting metropolis, it has become one of the most important film events on the festival calendar.

Showcasing more than 300 films and hosting industryites from around the world, Toronto can "make or break" films looking for international distribution and a chance at Oscar gold. From glitzy red carpet premieres to challenging art films to cutting edge new media, the Festival offers something for every taste.

Past Coverage 2014 2015 - Coverage 2016 in French   English


Toronto Film Festival Versus The Bedbugs


As film professionals and movie stars fly into Toronto for the international film festival that begins on Thursday, most will not realize that the city and the Festival that is its standard bearer, have been in a pitched battle with tiny insects. Panic was in the air when it was leaked to the local press last week that bedbugs (the insect scourge usually found in mattresses) were found at the Scotiabank Theatre, one of the Festival's main screening venues and the site for most of the Press and Industry screenings.

Toronto's media has been filled with stories over the past year about the invasion of the insidious insects that have infliltrated private homes and public offices and other venues. This was timed with various public reports in New York City that had the pesky pests invading movie theaters in Times Square and the offices of the chic ELLE magazine. However, with hundreds of thousands of Festival patrons set to participate at TIFF, the scourge of itch-inducing bugs is enough to make one's flesh crawl.

The local media has been having a field day with reports that the Scotiabank Theatre may have been deliberately infested with the disgusting creatures, as a kind of anarchic sabotage of the Festival and the squeaky clean image of the city itself. The rise of bedbugs is attributed to the banning in the 1970s of the industrial pesticide DDT, which was found to be a cancer-causing agent.

For a hot minute it seemed like Toronto’s upcoming mega film festival was going to be part of the plague when bedbugs were reported to have infested the Scotiabank Theatre. Festival honchos went into full time crisis management mode, hiring pest control specialists who enlisted bug-sniffing dogs to find out if the rumors were true. In the end, the whole thing seems to have been a hoax, although one that certainly must have given Festival organizers many hours of anxiety and sleepless nights (and maybe that was the point). 

As tweeted to the local media this week by TIFF co-director Cameron Bailey, "there are NOT any bugs in the theatres......we’re on it. We’re talking to Cineplex (the theater's owner) and are are planning for an itch-free TIFF." Whew, a close call......The idea that Ben Affleck, Jennifer Aniston or Robert Redford might have bugs crawling on them sounds like a scene from a campy sci-fi spoof. For the moment, the Festival has dodged a major public relations bullet....but don't think that I won't be checking my own skin for bite marks (bugs love me).

Sandy Mandelberger, Festival Dailies Editor



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About Toronto Film Festival Dailies

The Dailies from Toronto

Contributing editors: Bruno Chatelin 

Laurie Gordon Animaze International Film Festival Le Miaff!
Leopoldo Soto Huatulco Food and Film Festival Director
Gary Lucas Guitar hero Performing artist live score to classic and horror film
Mike Rabehl Programmer and Buyer Cinequest Film Festival San Jose Tiwtter: @cqmike
Vanessa McMahon  




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