The Toronto International Film Festival has hired veteran Canadian media executive Judy Lung as its VP of public relations and communications.
Lung, who starts in the role on Monday, most recently served as director of communications for Canadian exhibition giant Cineplex.
Over her 20-year career, Lung has handled public relations and communications for some of Canada’s leading arts and entertainment organizations. Her recent publicity campaigns span titles such as “Scarborough,” which is based on the novel by Catherine Hernandez, and David Cronenberg’s “Crimes of the Future.”
Lung previously worked for TIFF in 2008 before moving on to roles with Corus Entertainment, Shaw Communications, Shaftesbury and Touchwood PR.
Recently, Lung served on the board of advocacy group BIPOC TV & Film and was instrumental in its growth, leading the incorporation of the non-profit as well as the development and launch of HireBIPOC, an online database created in partnership with Bell Media and more than 40 industry groups. The initiative to transform hiring practices and increase opportunities for BIPOC creatives and crew launched in 2020 and currently has over 8,000 members.
“Judy Lung is a well-respected industry leader whose experience across the arts and entertainment sector will be a great asset to TIFF as she joins our senior management team,” said Cameron Bailey, CEO of TIFF, announcing Lung’s appointment.
“She brings an impressive breadth of experience, including past positions with TIFF, and has established strong relationships with media, creators, talent and industry stakeholders in Canada and around the world,” added Bailey. “Judy is a seasoned professional with a demonstrated commitment to TIFF’s values and mission. We’re looking forward to starting our work with her.”
Lung added: “I’m thrilled to be joining TIFF at such a pivotal and exciting time in the organization’s history. The festival has played an important role in my career, influencing and informing my understanding and appreciation of film and its potential to initiate transformative change. It’s an honour to return to TIFF in this new role, to work alongside Cameron and the esteemed leadership team, staff, volunteers and partners across the industry as we look ahead to the next 50 years of showcasing talent and bringing audiences together to experience the unmatched power of film.”
In the role, Lung will oversee the communications team and its work on this year’s festival as well as TIFF’s year-round programming. Additionally, she will be responsible for the planning, development and execution of external and internal communications efforts, and will oversee communications for TIFF’s latest three-year strategic plan.
The festival’s plans include growing the org’s year-round engagement with audiences and the industry; curating “exceptional experiences” at its Toronto-based headquarters, the TIFF Bell Lightbox; and expanding the festival’s role in international markets.
TIFF returns for its 48th edition from Sept. 7-17.