Toronto International Film Festival has turned into one of the most important film festivals in the world. The Toronto International Film Festival is one of the largest publicly attended film festivals in the world, attracting over 480,000 people annually. Since its founding in 1976, TIFF has grown to become a permanent destination for film culture operating out of the TIFF Bell Lightbox, located in Downtown Toronto. Year-round, the TIFF Bell Lightbox offers screenings, lectures, discussions, festivals, workshops, industry support, and the chance to meet filmmakers from Canada and around the world. TIFF Bell Lightbox is located on the north west corner of King Street and John Street in downtown Toronto.
Bell Lightbox is the cultural centrepiece and home to Tiff programming outside festival dates.
In 2016, 397 films from 83 countries were screened at 28 screens in downtown Toronto venues, welcoming an estimated 480,000 attendees, over 5,000 of whom were industry professionals. TIFF starts the Thursday night after Labour Day (the first Monday in September in Canada) and lasts for eleven days.
Founded in 1976, TIFF is now one of the largest and most prestigious events of its kind in the world. In 1998, Variety magazine acknowledged that TIFF "is second only to Cannes in terms of high-profile pics, stars, and market activity". In 2007, Time noted that TIFF had "grown from its place as the most influential fall film festival to the most influential film festival, period". This is partially the result of the festival's ability and reputation for generating "Oscar buzz".
The festival's People's Choice Award—which is based on audience balloting—has emerged as an indicator of success during awards season, especially at the Academy Awards. Past recipients of this award include Oscar-winning films, such as Life Is Beautiful (1998), American Beauty (1999), Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000), Slumdog Millionaire (2008), The King's Speech (2010), 12 Years a Slave (2013), La La Land (2016), Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (2017), Green Book (2018), and Jojo Rabbit (2019).