"Access is the first step": TIFF Artistic Director Cameron Bailey

The first Toronto Film Festival I attended was in 1986, and I came as a student journalist. Even back then, the Festival of Festivals, as it was known, had a reputation for an open, global outlook. But the diversity of its films wasn’t always reflected in the diversity of its press corps. As the years passed and I moved from film critic to festival director, it’s become ever more clear that we can all do more to include a wider range of voices in our conversations about the films we love.

This year, TIFF committed to grow our accredited media list by 20 percent. These new, additional journalists will come from under-represented groups — women, people of colour, people with disabilities, and people from the LGBTQ communities.

Change like this is always a collective effort. When we announced our Media Inclusion Initiative, we got overwhelming support from industry colleagues and individual donors. With this help, we will accredit almost 200 new journalists from under-represented groups. It’s fantastic news, but access is only the first step.

Collectively we must come together to open more doors, bigger doors, and the most exclusive doors to ensure true inclusion. Start with the door you hold the keys to. Only then will all our efforts be considered a resounding success. Heartfelt thanks everyone who has supported our initiative, including:  

— TIFF’s Share Her Journey Fund
— Annapurna Pictures
— Aurora Cannabis
— Netflix
— Rotten Tomatoes
— Twentieth Century Fox
— WME and Endeavor Content

I hope it provides inspiration to the next generation of film journalists — and the current one.

Cameron Bailey, Artistic Director, TIFF

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