Toronto International Film Festival issuing media accreditation on grounds of sexual and racial identity

'As @TIFF_NET fires staff and lurches toward bankruptcy, it’s announced stunning and brave new rules for how journalists cover TIFF films,' remarked Quiellete editor Jonathan Kay.

Toronto International Film Festival issuing media accreditation on grounds of sexual and racial identity
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The world-famous Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) will mandate that a minimum portion of the journalists covering its events are minorities.

Quillette editor Jonathan Kay posted to X: “As @TIFF_NET fires staff and lurches toward bankruptcy, it’s announced stunning and brave new rules for how journalists cover TIFF films."

The post shares a screenshot from TIFF's website showing a notice.

"All individuals who apply to this year's Media Inclusion Initiative should NOT apply for general media accreditation. Those who meet the criteria and are accepted will be accredited accordingly," the notice begins. "We invite everyone to apply who fits any of the below criteria," before listing the following:

  • You identify as Black, Indigenous, and/or a person of colour
  • You identify as 2SLGBTQIA+
  • You identify as a woman, trans, non-binary and/or two-spirited
  • You have a disability

It invites "emerging journalists" who are not a member of accredited media at TIFF, as well as those who have not received the Media Inclusion Initiative stipend in the past.

TIFF wrote that the Media Inclusion Initiative “has worked to achieve both a more balanced, equitable, and diverse press corps, and to remove the tangible and intangible barriers that challenge equity-seeking press wishing to cover the Festival.”

“This initiative provides specialized programing and peer mentorship for new and emerging journalists who meet the criteria below,” it said.

“New for 2024, 75 candidates will be selected to receive media accreditation — 25 of which will be returning as (Media Inclusion Initiative) Legacy participants (2023 cohort).”

The application closes on Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET.

TIFF recently cut 12 employees across several departments following a restructuring in December.

TIFF vice-president of public relations and communications Judy Lung said the employees were fired because of issues related to COVID-19 and the actors strike, reported the CBC.

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  • By David Menzies

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