Toronto International Film Festival had raised several eyebrows and concerns in the past few weeks. TIFF was going ahead with in-person screening as well as virtual screening. But, what absolutely shocking was the fact that the festival had made wearing masks when seated optional. The other major film festivals like Venice Film Festival was not so forthcoming with this relaxed policy. Obviously, TIFF received harsh criticism.
TIFF had earlier assured that all necessary safety protocols are being taken care of. The in-person screening will allow only 50 attendees placed at acceptable distances. However, the attendees were not convinced. It was pointed out that more than 500 people were exposed to the risk of COVID-19 at a Toronto strip club.
Questions were raised whether the TIFF Bell Lightbox will meet similar fate and convert into a mass spreader spot. Looking at all the backlashes and concerns, TIFF reversed its ‘mask-optional’ policy. Now, the attendees will have to wear mask as a mandatory rule even when seated for the screening.
Toronto Film Festival finally issued a statement clearing all the doubts. They once again stated that all the mandatory safety protocols are being taken care of. However, the masks are necessary for every attendee at all point of the show. Also, there will be no food and beverages served in light of the need to keep the masks on all the time.