The co-founder of the Toronto International Film Festival has died. Bill Marshall died in Toronto on New Years Day of a cardiac arrest. He was 77. Marshall founded TIFF in 1976 with two colleagues, and served as the organization’s director in its first three years. Marshall’s family said in a statement that he was a visionary in the Canadian film industry, and was also deeply involved in Toronto’s political landscape, serving as a campaign manager and chief of staff for three of the city’s past mayors. Toronto Mayor John Tory is among the many people mourning the loss of Marshall. Tory says Bill Marshall always thought big and the city was the winner thanks to his creativity and determination. Marshall is being remembered by friends and family for his honesty, keen mind and wry humour.
Current TIFF director Piers Handling says Marshall helped build the festival into one of the most influential public cultural festivals today.