Bell Canada is ending its long-standing sponsorship of the Toronto International Film Festival, Variety has confirmed.
The telecommunications company, a lead sponsor since 1995, will not continue its partnership with TIFF after the festival’s 48th edition this year.
“Bell has had a terrific partnership with TIFF for the past 28 years,” the company said in a statement shared with Variety on Saturday. “We’re proud of our partnership to help make TIFF a leading global destination for film and to support Canadian content and talent on the world stage.”
The statement continued, “Earlier this year, we decided that the end of 2023 would be the right time to step back from our partnership with TIFF and opted not to renew our sponsorship in order to invest in other opportunities that are core to our business. We are confident TIFF will continue to develop and showcase the world’s leading content to inform, educate and entertain the best audience in film. We’re grateful to have been a part of it all.”
On Sunday morning, TIFF shared a statement on the end of its partnership with Bell: “Over the past 28 years, TIFF and Bell have enjoyed an historic partnership that has greatly contributed to the growth and success of our organizations. Earlier this year, we mutually agreed that this partnership would come to a close at the end of 2023. We extend our sincere gratitude to Bell for their unwavering support, dedication, and collaborative spirit and look forward to working with them in new ways.”
“TIFF is an important pillar in the ever-evolving global entertainment industry. We look forward to continuing to grow and innovate with the support and collaboration of current and future partners.”
Back in July, TIFF unveiled this year’s slate of 60 films, representing 70 countries around the world. The 2023 lineup includes Alexander Payne’s “The Holdovers,” Richard Linklater’s “Hit Man,” Kore-eda Hirokazu’s “Monster” and Justine Triet’s “Anatomy of a Fall,” which premiered at Cannes and won the Palme d’Or. Netflix films like George C. Wolfe’s “Rustin,” David Yates’ “Pain Hustlers,” and Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin’s “Nyad” will also screen at the 48th annual festival.
The world premiere of Sylvester Stallone’s documentary “Sly” will close the 2023 Toronto International Film Festival on Sept. 16 at Roy Thomson Hall. The festival begins Sept. 7.