TIFF Lays Off 31 Full-Time Staff and Cuts Salaries Due to COVID-19 Revenue Forecast

TIFF Lays Off 31 Full-Time Staff and Cuts Salaries Due to COVID-19 Revenue Forecast
As recently as last month, organizers at the Toronto International Film Festival suggested that they still plan to have a physical festival in 2020. While their plan isn't entirely clear, one thing is — expected revenues are down thanks to COVID-19. As such, organizers have just let go of 31 full-time employees.

The Canadian Press reports that TIFF co-heads Joana Vicente and Cameron Bailey  confirmed that they've had to lay off the employees, who represent approximately 17 percent of TIFF's entire full-time staff.

Because of continued health concerns and restrictions on travel, TIFF's 2020 revenue is expected to be approximately half of what it was in 2019. Further, the TIFF Bell Lightbox has been closed since March.

Vicente and Bailey added that they've cut salaries at the executive and senior management levels while also cancelling discretionary projects.

"The pandemic has had a huge impact on every Canadian organization that welcomes audiences in large numbers," the pair said in a joint press release. "The global health crisis has led us to completely redesign our business and reimagine our activities for both TIFF Bell Lightbox and the festival to continue to deliver on our mission to transform the way people see the world through film."

TIFF is currently dated to run from September 10 to September 20.