#TorontoFilmFestival; #CameronBailey; #MandyPatinkin; #StayAtHomeCinema; #Crave
Toronto, Mar 29 (Canadian-Media): A virtual chat Friday night would be held on Friday night jointly by Festival co-head Cameron Bailey and Mandy Patinkin, before 'The Princess Bride' streams on partnering service Crave, media reports said.
Cameron Bailey (left). Image credit: TIFF
Self-isolating Canadians are being invited by Toronto Film Festival artistic director Cameron Bailey to view virtual chats with Hollywood stars, followed by movie screenings on the Crave streaming service.
Crave streaming service is a Canadian subscription video on demand service owned by Bell Media and competes with other subscription-based over-the-top streaming services operating in Canada, primarily the American-based services Netflix and Amazon Prime Video.
During the coronavirus pandemic Tiff joins other major film festivals in moving online while Bailey, who is also festival co-head, will tonight launch a Stay-at-Home Cinema offering by chatting via Instagram Live @tiff_net with Homeland star Mandy Patinkin.
Rob Reiner's 1987 film The Princess Bride starring Patinkin as Inigo Montoya would then stream on Crave, which competes in the Canadian streaming market against dominant players Netflix and Amazon Prime.
"TIFF has a longstanding partnership with Bell Media and Crave, so it was a natural progression to work together during this global health crisis,” said Joana Vicente, TIFF executive director and co-head, in a statement as she notes Crave-parent Bell Media is the festival's biggest corporate sponsor.
At least the first three yet to be scheduled and announced virtual chats with Hollywood stars and movie screenings will be hosted by TIFF's Bailey, said organizers of the Stay-at-Home offering Friday.
An ongoing competition between Netflix, Amazon and Crave to sign up Canadians increasingly viewing movies and TV shows on their TV sets, tablets or smartphones would now accelerate as Canada imposes strict stay-at-home measures to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.
In 2018, Netflix’s Outlaw King shown on the opening night slot at TIFF, which angered first-night sponsor Bell Media.
In a sign of Bell’s muscle, TIFF opened its 2019 edition with the Crave documentary Once Were Brothers: Robbie Robertson and The Band.
"During these challenging times, we continue to look for ways to keep people connected, comforted and entertained, and the power of film and TV accomplishes just that," Bell Media president Randy Lennox said in his own statement.
TIFF's Stay-at-Home Cinema initiative is an effort to look beyond coronavirus crisis and stage a physical event in September and prepares to move the event online this fall as a safety precaution.
(Reporting by Asha Bajaj)