Bailey recently led the festival as Co-Head and Artistic Director with Co-Head Joana Vicente. At the end of September, Vicente departed for the Sundance Institute, where she was named CEO. Planning on Toronto 2022 is already underway as the TIFF Bell Lightbox reopens its doors.
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The festival’s Board of Directors made the announcement about Bailey on Tuesday in the wake of Jeffrey Remedios, Chairman and CEO of Universal Music Canada, being named as the festival’s new Chair of the Board, with Jennifer Tory completing her role in that position.
Bailey started at TIFF in 1990 as a seasonal programmer amid a career as a film critic. He’s held several key roles at TIFF: as a programmer with Perspective Canada, founding the Planet Africa section, and working as the fest’s Artistic Director. Bailey has ensured during his leadership that the festival is an essential stop for filmmakers, industry professionals and journalists from around the world; not to mention it’s a big launchpad for the annual awards season and Q4 domestic box office.
He has seen TIFF through an off-beat year in 2020 during the pandemic, when it went completely hybrid, to a gradual opening this year when Canada opened its borders to the U.S.
“I could not be more assured in my first act as Chair representing the TIFF Board in the appointment of Cameron Bailey as CEO,” Remedios said today. “Cameron is a luminary in the global film industry and his committed leadership, strategic perspective and unparalleled passion has already built an essential foundation for this organization. There is no one better suited to drive TIFF forward.”
He added: “His immeasurable depth of cinematic knowledge, his astute understanding of this ever-changing industry and the evolving technologies that impact the way we share stories through film will shape TIFF’s future and I look forward to supporting his vision for years to come.”
For 20 years Bailey worked as both programmer and critic, contributing to Toronto’s NOW Magazine, CBC Radio One and CTV’s Canada AM. He has been published in The Globe and Mail, The Village Voice and Screen, along with several books. In 2015, Bailey participated in CBC’s Canada Reads competition, successfully championing Kim Thuy’s novel Ru. He has taught film curation at the University of Toronto, and holds an honorary doctorate from Western University. He is a Chevalier in France’s Order of Arts and Letters and is a member-at-large of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. For 10 consecutive years, (2012–2021), Toronto Life magazine has named him one of Toronto’s 50 Most Influential People.
“TIFF’s mission to ‘transform the way people see the world through film’ is my mission as well,” said Bailey. “I believe the moving image has a unique power to tap into our deepest emotions, and shift the way we view our world and each other. It’s both a joy and an enormous responsibility to lead our passionate, committed TIFF team as we connect people and communities through film. I’m indebted to TIFF’s founders and to each of TIFF’s previous leaders for building an organization dedicated to making positive change in the world for filmgoers, filmmakers, and all the professionals who make movies matter.”
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