MEET CAMERON BAILEY, A CHAMPION FOR DIVERSITY IN FILMMAKING

As The Artistic Director And Co-Head Of The Toronto International Film Festival, The Power Of Storytelling Is Always Center Stage

Cameron Bailey ~ Photo Courtesy of TIFF ~ Photo by Matt Barnes

There’s so much to do and see during the Toronto International Film Festival, which kicked off its 44th year last Thursday and comes to a close on Sunday. But no matter which screening or event you attend, there’s one person who’ll likely be in the house: TIFF’s Artistic Director and Co-Head, Cameron Bailey.

It’s not a stretch imagining Bailey’s calendar during the 11-day festival (and that of Joana Vicente, with whom he shares Co-Head duties) has been strategically-scheduled, down to the minute, and color-coded. Perhaps that’s why I was surprised to see him three times during my four-and-a-half days of film-hopping.

TORONTO, ONTARIO – SEPTEMBER 07: (L-R) JAMIE FOXX, MICHAEL B. JORDAN, AND CAMERON BAILEY ATTEND IN CONVERSATION WITH…MICHAEL B. JORDAN AND JAMIE FOXX DURING THE 2019 TORONTO INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL AT TIFF BELL LIGHTBOX ON SEPTEMBER 07, 2019 IN TORONTO, CANADA. (PHOTO BY ROBIN MARCHANT/GETTY IMAGES)

First, in Theater 1 of TIFF’s legendary Bell Lightbox, where he led a spirited conversation with Just Mercy stars Jamie Foxx and Michael B. Jordan. Then, at the world premiere of Dolemite is My Name at the Princess of Wales Theater, he introduced and interviewed the cast, including Eddie Murphy, who was greeted with uproarious applause. I saw Bailey a final time when he arrived at Momofuku Noodle Bar on University Avenue to greet guests at the 4th annual luncheon hosted by the African-American Film Critics Association. Each time I saw him, he was prepared, personable and on-point. Simply stated, Cameron Bailey represents, well.

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