Magazine article Variety

Festival Gets Virtual

Magazine article Variety

Festival Gets Virtual

Article excerpt

The Toronto festival's executive director and chief operating officer Michele Maheux is a lifelong film enthusiast: she began her career while still at university, selling popcorn in Toronto's now-defunct Phoenix Theatre. From that humble start, she's moved up the ranks at TIFF after stints in exhibition and marketing. She's now part of TIFF's programming team (Netherlands and Ireland are her purview) in addition to overseeing TIFF's year-round operations and its more than C$40 million ($51 million) annual budget.

Maheux is a dedicated fashionista and champion of Canadian designers. Without a doubt, she's also a tireless advocate for the film-centric org. TIFF runs Sept. 8-18.

What's new at TIFF this year?

We're retrofitting a (Lightbox) flatfloor multi-use cinema for virtual reality during the last three days of festival. Although it's new for us and we're doing it on a very small scale, we're making sure it's a high-caliber experience. It's a pop-up.

Who are you most looking forward to introducing?

I would have to name the special presentation by Paul Verhoeven that was at Cannes, "Elle," starring Isabelle Huppert. She's in a number of films at the festival this year, she's this year's "it" girl. …

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