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This year's TIFF will prioritize local talent over star-studded glamour

With fewer celebrities in the spotlight, the focus will shift to local artists at Toronto International Film Festival 2023

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This year's Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF ) may look very different. TIFF 2023, which begins on Thursday, is usually a star-studded occasion attended by Hollywood A-listers. 
According to reports, the event attracts over 700,000 visitors and generates more than $114 million in economic activity in the region. However, due to the ongoing Hollywood actor and writer strikes, fewer celebrities will attend this year's event. And this might have a big impact on the city's businesses who rely on the festival and its stars to generate publicity and, of course, money. 
With fewer celebrities hogging the attention, the spotlight will shift to local artists. TIFF CEO Cameron Bailey has spoken about it as well. "At our festival, Canadian films and filmmakers are consistently well-represented. However, this year, I believe their presence will be much greater," he said in an interview. This year's festival will offer 50 Canadian movies, including 21 features, 20 shorts, six documentaries, and three television series, according to TIFF's chief programming officer, Anita Lee.
Members of the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) are prohibited from promoting any film produced by an Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) member during the strikes. Major film studios (Disney, Paramount, Sony, Universal, and Warner Bros.), television networks (ABC, CBS, Fox, and NBC), and streaming services (Netflix, Apple TV+, and Amazon) are all included.
However, the strike has no effect on directors and producers, and some are permitted to walk red carpets. TIFF this year features films by various actor-turned-directors, including Viggo Mortensen, Michael Keaton, Chris Pine, and Anna Kendrick.
To make matters more complicated, SAG-AFTRA has formed an interim agreement scheme for certain independent films distributed by non-AMPTP members, allowing them to promote films despite the strikes. However, as TIFF gets underway, it's unclear whose films have been granted waivers. TIFF and Toronto businesses are dealing with a lack of stars as a result of the uncertainty.
Meanwhile, the event already has connections with other corporations, such as Netflix.
Netflix and TIFF formed a three-year deal in 2019 to provide financial support to Canadian directors. This year's festival will also feature the world premieres of five films from Netflix.
 

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