Toronto International Film Festival: The man to fill Piers Handling’s shoes

Image copyright EPA Image caption Bailey previously led both film festivals in London and Montreal Cameron Bailey has been appointed as the new CEO of the Toronto International Film Festival. It is the second…

Toronto International Film Festival: The man to fill Piers Handling's shoes

Image copyright EPA Image caption Bailey previously led both film festivals in London and Montreal

Cameron Bailey has been appointed as the new CEO of the Toronto International Film Festival.

It is the second time he has been in the role, having previously led both the London Film Festival and Cannes Film Festival.

He succeeds Piers Handling who announced his retirement from the role earlier this year.

Bailey has been head of programming at the Toronto festival since 2011.

The festival will be held for the 31st time from 5-15 September, next year.

‘Life in the spotlight’

Bailey, who is also a director, producer and screenwriter, took over the festival after the sudden death of his predecessor Piers Handling in 2011.

He helped double its number of screenings from 12,000 to 20,000, a massive turnaround and he worked to revitalise the festival’s pace and image.

He has overseen strong growth in the number of films shown, the number of sponsors and for the first time in his 11 years as programmer he has been responsible for the entire screening programme of the festival, as well as the new film school run by Cineplex.

He has also been an important figure at Cannes, among others.

Image copyright Toronto International Film Festival Image caption Blowing up the escalators has always been part of the festival

Under his watch the Festival attracted more than 2.7 million visitors and raised almost $100m (£74m) for charities and the festival community.

He described the job as “truly a life in the spotlight.

“It’s an incredible honour for me to be given the opportunity to lead this festival into its next century and beyond.

“We are at a pivotal moment in the transformation of what the film festival means, with a global audience of over five billion and rising.”

Bailey previously worked at festivals in London, Rio de Janeiro and Seville, and at festivals in several countries around the world.

He made his feature-film debut with 1991’s Bad Boy Bubbles.

Image copyright Hugo Glendinning/Toronto International Film Festival Image caption The festival will be in the midst of its 39th edition next year

His film features could be seen in Toronto earlier this year in the Oscar-winning Moonlight, the biopic On the Basis of Sex and thriller Destroyer

In March, three of the titles that will be screened at the festa next year include ‘Monster’ Jessica Chastain, Keira Knightley and ‘The True Memoirs of an International Assassin’ from Juliette Binoche and Michael Shannon.

The festival’s press office says it has seen 68% growth from 9,400 to 15,000 films since 1990.

The festival held its 39th edition earlier this year, in locations around the city which included Toronto’s luxury railway Stompin’ Tom Connors ride and its metro stops on Queen Street West and Yonge.

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