In the span of 40 years the Toronto Film Festival has grown from a small local film festival into one of the most prestigious events of its kind in the world.
TIFF was founded in 1976 at the Windsor Arms Hotel by Bill Marshall, Henk Van der Kolk and Dusty Cohl. It was called the Festival of Festivals and ran from October 18th - 24th. 35,000 film goers watched 127 films from 30 countries.
Although Hollywood studios initially withdrew their submissions from TIFF believing that Toronto audiences would be too parochial (narrow-minded, small-minded, provincial, narrow, small-town, conservative!) for their products TIFF continued to concentrate on bringing the best films from around the world.
Now TIFF is one of the largest publicly attended film festivals in the world, attracting over 480,000 people annually. The 42nd Toronto International Film Festival was held from 7 to 17 September 2017. There were 255 feature-length films, 84 short films, 147 world premieres, 57 Canadian films (including co-productions) consisting of 28 features and 29 shorts.