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Toronto: Film Festival’s Virtual Streaming Platform Stalls on Opening Day

The Hollywood Reporter
The Hollywood Reporter

The Toronto Film Festival had to scramble on opening day to repair a virtual cinema screening platform that stalled for select festival lineup titles.

“We are aware of an issue that impacted a select number of films on TIFF Digital Cinema Pro, where the films do not play successfully in your browsers,” TIFF organizers said in a statement Thursday.

The festival added it was “working on implementing a solution,” while it rescheduled online streaming times for impacted titles like The Hill Where Lionesses Roar, Vengeance Is Mine, All Others Pay Cash and Justine Bateman’s Violet.

The TIFF Digital Cinema Pro platform is designed for use by the international press and industry execs participating in the festival’s 46th edition. Films are offered in viewing windows during the festival’s Sept. 9 to 18 run, with each window lasting 48 hours to accommodate international time zones.

TIFF also unveiled new schedule times for Sept. 12 for other lineup titles like As in Heaven, Dug Dug and Hellbound. And Toronto added no digital screenings of Dear Evan Hansen , TIFF’s opening night film by director Stephen Chbosky, were available ahead of the movie adaptation of the hit Broadway play getting an in-person world premiere at Roy Thomson Hall on Thursday night.

“So if you’ve been unlucky in getting a ( Dear Evan Hansen ) ticket for a screening at TIFF, you can support the film when it goes to theaters Sept. 24. Please enjoy the many other offerings of the festival,” TIFF Customer Relations said via its Twitter account .

Film critics took to social media to vent their frustration over not being able to view films in the TIFF lineup, or having to use a host of browsers to find one that worked.

“I was able to view a market screening, and the ‘test your platform’ video, but everything else I try is just a black screen with a ‘play’ button that doesn’t work,” Brent Hankins, a critic with The Lamplight Review , said on his Twitter account .

The Toronto Film Festival, set to run through Sept. 18, is offering limited in-person screenings and mostly virtual streams of its 2021 film lineup amid the pandemic.

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