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TIFF Apologizes for 2013 Jewish Holiday Conflict

The international festival will run through both Yom Kippur and Rosh Hashanah next year.

By: Ashley Baylen
Published: October 22nd, 2012 in Culture » Film » News
Piers and Cameron at TIFF

The Toronto International Film Festival announced today that next year’s festival will take place from September 5th-15th. Every year, the festival falls on either Rosh Hashanah or Yom Kippur, but unfortunately in 2013, it will fall on both.

TIFF artistic director, Cameron Bailey, has offered an apology to those celebrating the Jewish holidays, after announcing the 2013 festival dates.

“With work already well under way, we’d like to give filmgoers and industry professionals the opportunity to plan ahead for next year’s festival,” said Bailey.

“As always, we launch on the Thursday after Labour Day. This year that means our dates unfortunately overlap with both Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. With our position fixed in a crowded calendar of festivals regulated by the International Federation of Film Producers Associations (FIAPF), it’s not possible to shift the dates. As a result, we will do our best to schedule repeat screenings to accommodate festivalgoers who will be observing the Jewish High Holy Days. We look forward to welcoming everyone back to the Festival.”

In response, The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs offered the following statement:

“It certainly would have been preferable if the opening and closing dates did not coincide with Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. However, we understand that TIFF does not choose its own dates. It is locked into the schedule set by the International Federation of Film Producers’ Association and such date constraints are beyond TIFF’s control,” said David Spiro, Greater Toronto Co-Chair of The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs.

“We appreciate TIFF’s commitment to provide additional screenings of films shown during the High Holidays so that Jewish community members will have an opportunity to see them. We believe that, under the circumstances, this is a fair accommodation for the Jewish community. We also appreciate that Cameron Bailey, the festivals Artistic Director, has reached out to us directly to explain the circumstances TIFF faces. Toronto’s Jewish community has a close and longstanding relationship with TIFF whose leadership is greatly appreciated,” added Spiro.

Related articles: TIFF, Toronto Film Festival, Cameron Bailey, Schedule, Conflict, Bell Lighthouse, Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Jewish Holidays, High Holidays
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