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TIFF announces first batch of films while facing financial fallout from COVID-19

The TIFF sign. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young

The Toronto International Film Festival has announced plans for this year’s annual movie marathon, which will include both physical and digital screenings, virtual red carpets and drive-ins.

The festival’s 45th edition is slated to run Sept. 10-19 and has been reimagined to follow the protocols set by authorities to avoid the spread of COVID-19.

Organizers say the 10-day event will have a lineup of 50 new feature films, five programs of shorts and an online industry conference.

It will also have outdoor experiences, press conferences, interactive talks, and Q-and-As with cast and filmmakers.

TIFF didn’t provide specific details on how such events will unfold, but it’s clear this will be a much different festival than the usual extravaganza of hundreds of films and a city crawling with stars, cinephiles and celebrity watchers.

The films include Francis Lee’s “Ammonite,” starring Kate Winslet and Saoirse Ronan, Halle Berry’s directorial debut “Bruised,” and “Concrete Cowboy” by Ricky Staub, starring Idris Elba, Jharrel Jerome, and Lorraine Toussaint.