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Cameron Bailey

August 31, 2018 by Speakers' Spotlight

Cameron Bailey Named Co-Head of Toronto International Film Festival

For more than 30 years, Cameron Bailey has helped build the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) into the renowned signature event for film lovers across the globe. Having been the artistic director since 2012, he was recently named artistic director and co-head of the festival in the wake of outgoing, long-time CEO Piers Handling.

In this newly created position and expansion of his current role, Cameron will focus on the artistic direction of the organization overseeing the programming of films, talks, and learning programs. His fellow co-head, recently announced as movie industry visionary Joana Vincente, will oversee business and revenue.

In a CBC news article, Bailey spoke of his vision for TIFF moving forward:

“I still believe that that social experience is going to be really important,” Bailey said Thursday in a phone interview.

“And as we’re doing that, we have to also look at the different ways that people are engaging with film. The streaming services have changed, the landscape for people, just the volume of choice that’s available to all of us now has changed the landscape.”

Such an outlook is part of TIFF’s five-year strategic plan that includes helping inspire audiences.

“How do we help people expand their world through what we’re putting in front of them? That’s really the job going forward,” Bailey said.

Cameron’s new role officially begins following the close of this year’s festival, running September 6-16. Much anticipation has been built around the 2018 event since the first wave of programming announcements that showcased the star power heading to Toronto. From a Globe and Mail article:

TIFF will host screenings of this fall’s most anticipated films, including Bradley Cooper’s remake of A Star Is Born, co-starring Lady Gaga; Ben Is Back, a drama pivoting on America’s opioid crisis, starring [Julia] Roberts; Claire Denis’s High Life, a sexually charged sci-fi film starring [Robert] Pattinson; Jason Reitman’s political drama The Front Runner, which looks at the rise and fall of U.S. Senator Gary Hart ([Hugh] Jackman); and Beautiful Boy, a drama about the deteriorating relationship between a father (Steve Carell) and his meth-addict son ([Timothée] Chalamet).

In addition to this eclectic list of films, expect plenty of eventual Academy Awards chatter about other TIFF picks like The Sisters Brothers, Jacques Audiard’s adaptation of Canadian author Patrick deWitt’s novel, starring Joaquin Phoenix; the crime thriller Widows, from 12 Years a Slave director Steve McQueen; Chazelle’s NASA drama First Man, which will play Toronto after its Venice debut; and the black-and-white family drama Roma, Alfonso Cuarón’s first film since 2013′s Gravity.

When the full 2018 program was announced, it saw a number of established Canadian filmmakers return plus a focus on indigenous programming. From a Globe and Mail article:

TIFF also used Wednesday’s announcement to highlight the country’s Indigenous talent, slotting the world premieres of Edge of the Knife, the feature debut of co-directors Gwaai Edenshaw and Helen Haig-Brown; Falls Around Her, from Darlene Naponse; and The Grizzlies, a project that the festival calls a “creative collaboration” between Inuit producers Alethea Arnaquq-Baril and Stacey Aglok MacDonald, and first-time director Miranda de Pencier (a long-time producer, and sister of Anthropocene co-director Nicholas de Pencier).

“We’re especially proud to present such a diverse group of films,” Steve Gravestock, senior programmer for TIFF, said in a statement. “This year’s Canadian films come from every region in the country, stretching from east to west and north to south.”

See the full TIFF 2018 line-up here.

As a keynote speaker, Cameron Bailey speaks to the importance of the arts and culture sector and what it takes to grow a cultural organization, from engaging staff at all levels, to harnessing the energy of local citizens and politicians to, finally, capturing the attention of the world.

Interested in learning more about Cameron and what he can bring to your next event? Email us at info@speakers.ca.