Thursday, August 26, 2010

Let there be...the Lightbox

It’s called the TIFF Bell Lightbox. TIFF being the Toronto International Film Festival of course. Bell being one of Canada’s major phone companies and an obvious sponsor. Lightbox? Well, use your imagination. But it’s a great name. And it’s the new home for the Toronto International Film Festival. The building opens Sept. 12 when the fest in the midst of all its glory. This building is unique. The five-storey block-long complex will operate 365 days a year. Located at the corner of John and King streets in Toronto’s downtown west side the venue seems like nothing else in the history of film. The Lightbox has five cinemas, three learning studios, a bistro and restaurant. Everything about the complex exudes cinema. The design has a three-storey atrium and glass panels where, from the street, people inside the building can be seen as if they are shadows, creating a distinct cinematic effect. The building will host education programs about film as well as TIFF’s year-round  cinematic series. Kicking off the building’s programming will be a presentation of the world’s 100 most influential films, along with a free exhibition of objects and art that celebrate these movies. You might guess some of these - everything from City Lights to City of God, Persona to Pulp Fiction. Special guests and live concerts will round out some of the films. The Lightbox will be the epicentre of the festival (Sept. 9 - 19) itself. But it also will be a venue lovingly devoted to film year-round. And that’s a reason in itself to make the four-hour trip to Toronto. Personally, I can’t wait to see it. For more info go to

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