Sep 18, 2021

By Jeremy Logan

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From seeing stars moved to tears in connecting with audiences, to the transparent handling of a COVID-19 case, the Toronto International Film Festival co-heads say they feel this year’s hybrid pandemic showcase was successful and safe.

Co-head and executive director Joana Vicente says she’s proud of their team for pulling off the biggest cultural event in the city, one with red carpets and a mix of in-person and digital screenings since the first pandemic lockdown a year and a half ago.

Co-head and artistic director Cameron Bailey says filmmakers told them they were “amazed and so thankful” the 10-day festival ending tonight was able to hold indoor events at big venues again.

Anyone entering TIFF venues had to wear masks, socially distance and show proof they had been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or present a negative test taken within 48 hours before entry.

On Thursday, the festival warned attendees of a confirmed case of COVID-19 in an audience member, noting it was “low risk” due to “strictly enforced COVID protocols in place at all TIFF venues.”

Vicente says it was “one isolated case” in a person who was at four press and industry screenings, and the festival informed everyone who was affected.

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