Toronto International Film Festival plays identity politics Bingo: Media accreditation will now be segregated by race, sexuality
· Jun 22, 2024 ·

The Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) is searching for minorities, and minorities only for a special, expenses-paid opportunity to cover the festival!

Who knew there were too many straight white journalists covering the arts...

TIFF, founded in 1976, is one of Canada's biggest and most popular film festivals. However, things haven't been going too well for them, and apparently, their land acknowledgment on their website wasn't enough, so they've updated their Media Inclusion Initiative (MII).

In December 2023, TIFF laid off 12 employees from different departments. According to Judy Lung, TIFF's VP of PR and Communications, this move was due to COVID-19 issues and Hollywood strikes. They're in desperate need of attention, and who better turn to than the loud, proud, stunning, and brave?

The new initiative mandates 75 journalists covering the festival to belong to the rainbow gang or have some sort of disability.

TIFF is open to journalists who:

  • Identify as Black, Indigenous, and/or a person of colour

  • Identify as 2SLGBTQIA+

  • Identify as a woman, trans, non-binary, and/or two-spirited

  • Have a disability

TIFF's MII has been around since 2018, but this year, media accreditations feel a bit more segregated than before. The MII application states that TIFF "has worked to achieve both a more balanced, equitable, and diverse press corps, and to remove the tangible and intangible barriers that challenge equity-seeking press wishing to cover the Festival."

TIFF says all MII participants will get media accreditation and access to exclusive networking sessions. They'll also provide a stipend to help with travel and accommodation costs. Anyone who is non-white, a sexual minority, a woman, or has a disability is invited to apply.

All Media Inclusion Initiative participants will receive Festival media accreditation and access to exclusive networking sessions. TIFF will also provide a stipend to help offset costs associated with travel and accommodations related to the Festival.


Those who meet the criteria and are accepted will be accredited accordingly.

And for the rest of those white, "cis" journalists, tough luck!

You may get accredited to cover the event, but don't expect to join the exclusive, segregated networking sessions or receive any stipends.

The application does require you to prove you're non-white, disabled, or 2SLGBTQIA+ identity with a mandatory headshot photo, which seems a bit bigoted if you ask me.

What is a wOmAn or GeNdErFlUiD even supposed to look like, huh?!?

Well, they need to stay politically correct, of course.

So, although the application asks for "your lived experience," such as your race, cultural origins, gender identity, sexual orientation, and pronouns (because we know that truly matters as a journalist covering a film festival), they still allow you to choose "I prefer not to answer."

Wouldn't that defeat the purpose of their entire initiative?

In a world where honest journalism is tough and where the rainbow gang tries to make life difficult for average straight, white, cis folks by demonizing the very "social construct" that you are, TIFF is now blending these challenges together!

And what do gender and sexual orientation have to do with covering a film festival, again?

Oh, right, nothing. It's all just a game of identity Bingo.

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