Since March, essential frontline workers have played an important role in our community, ensuring everyone has access to critical services including health care, food, and transportation. In recognition of their hard work and dedication, TIFF is offering a free Festival digital screening of Concrete Cowboy for Toronto’s wonderful heroes. This digital presentation is sponsored by Fasken.
“It is still hard to believe that we are all living through a global medical crisis,” stated Cameron Bailey and Joana Vicente, Co-Heads, TIFF. “We could never have anticipated the global seismic changes we would be facing in 2020. We stayed true to the original spirit of the Festival from when it began in 1976 as our guiding light. We want to share our deep love of film, passion for our loyal audiences, and our gratitude to the frontline workers for the risks they took – and continue to take – during a time when it was safest to stay home. It is our pleasure to bring this great film to them.”
TIFF has partnered with Toronto area hospitals Sinai Health, Toronto General, St. Michael’s, St. Joseph’s (Unity); long-term care facilities Baycrest Hospital, Homes First, South Riverdale Community Health Centre; and mental health care partners CAMH (PHP, ENCORE, Gifts of Light), CMHA, Real Canadian Superstore, and the TTC in order to facilitate outreach to 500 frontline workers in the Greater Toronto Area. Many of these partners work closely with TIFF year-round as part of our Mental Health Outreach programme, which supports individuals on their path to wellness by harnessing the unique power of film to unlock imagination and encourage curiosity. Concrete Cowboy will be made available on Monday, September 14, at 6pm on TIFF’s online film platform, Bell Digital Cinema, to invited frontline workers.
One of the most anticipated films of the Festival, Concrete Cowboy stars Idris Elba as a rough-hewn Philadelphia cowboy and Stranger Things’ Caleb McLaughlin as his estranged son, and tells the story of family reconciliation amidst one of America’s most unique subcultures: a generations-old world of Black horse trainers on the streets of North Philly.
The film, directed by Ricky Staub, features an incredible cast, including Idris Elba, Caleb McLaughlin, Jharrel Jerome, Byron Bowers, Lorraine Toussaint, and Clifford “Method Man” Smith.
In addition, RBC, the official bank of the Toronto International Film Festival and the presenting sponsor of the RBC Lakeside Drive-In at Ontario Place, has reserved the “Best Seats in the House” for frontline workers and COVID-19 community heroes at each of ten film screenings throughout the Festival. TIFF fans can nominate a deserving community member for a special night out at the RBC Lakeside Drive-In. Contest details are available here.
TIFF continues to work closely with the Province of Ontario, the City of Toronto, and public health officials on the safe execution of the Festival, with its number-one priority being the health and well-being of both Festival filmgoers and the residents of the entire community. The Province’s Stage 3 reopening guidelines currently cap a movie theatre’s occupancy at 50 guests per cinema regardless of the total capacity of the theatre. Additionally, TIFF has partnered with Medcan, a global health care leader providing medical expertise, consultation, and health inspiration to achieve its mission of helping people “Live Well for Life.” Based on the pillars of evidence-based care, exceptional client service, and the latest in technology, Medcan’s team of over 90 physicians and specialists support employee health care across the continuum of health, including its “Safe at Work System” helping organizations navigate the pandemic.
The 45th edition of the Toronto International Film Festival runs September 10–19, 2020.