TIFF launches digital platform online film rentals ahead of festival

TORONTO — The organization behind the Toronto International Film Festival has launched its own online platform for renting films.

Digital TIFF Bell Lightbox comes after last month's announcement that TIFF will have a digital platform in September.

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Organizers say the festival, slated to run Sept. 10-19, will be a mix of physical and online experiences adhering to COVID-19 health and safety protocols.

Digital TIFF Bell Lightbox will offer feature films, talks and interviews until Aug. 14, after which the platform will be preparing for the festival.

In mid-October, year-round presentations of films and events will resume at digital TIFF Bell Lightbox.

The first available titles on the platform are "First Cow" by American director Kelly Reichardt and "Guest of Honour" by Canadian filmmaker Atom Egoyan.

New films will be added each week at digital.tiff.net, along with talks and interviews.

The platform is named after TIFF Bell Lightbox, the organization's downtown Toronto headquarters, which has theatres and a variety of film-related events.

While audiences can rent films from digital TIFF Bell Lightbox, TIFF stresses it is not an over-the-top streaming media service.

Digital TIFF Bell Lightbox is available to all TIFF Members and residents of Canada.

Rental prices for new releases range from $5.99-$12.99 plus tax, and catalogue titles are $4.99 plus tax.

While the organization's physical building remains closed during the pandemic, TIFF members will get a special rate of $0.99 for Catalogue titles.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 10, 2020.

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