TIFF 2013: YouTube helps TIFF with digital distribution
September 04, 2013 | Alicia Androich | Comments
YouTube is helping the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) move further into digital distribution.
TIFF’s YouTube channel drew huge audiences last year by live streaming some of the festival’s press conferences—the one for Spring Breakers (pictured) has since accumulated more than half a million views alone.
This year, YouTube is a TIFF program and award sponsor. “For us, this partnership represents a monumental shift into digital distribution for TIFF,” said Dave Brown, business development at YouTube. “We’re excited to be the partner that’s helping them with this transformation.”
This is the first year YouTube has officially partnered with the festival, and there are three components to the partnership, said Brown.
One component will see TIFF screening more than 30 short films from the Short Cuts Canada program on its YouTube channel within 24 hours after they play at the festival. This will give TIFF access to a broader, international digital audience, said Brown, with the filmmakers getting an “unparalleled distribution of 22 million Canadians and the possibility of a billion global visitors who visit YouTube monthly.”
Filmmakers that distribute their work on YouTube will have a spotlight shone on them during the festival as another part of YouTube’s new partnership with TIFF. These filmmakers will get a first-of-its-kind TIFF screening at the TIFF Bell Lightbox that will be devoted solely to content they’ve created. “It’s a great showcase opportunity for some of our high-quality filmmakers,” said Brown. Not only will they have the prestige of having their work screened at TIFF, but it will also expose TIFF’s short filmmakers to the success stories of these YouTube creators, said Brown.
The third component of this year’s partnership will see YouTube take part in the industry programming sessions at TIFF. Some of its own content creators will give presentations in which they’ll share their experiences of filmmaking and address how they create and distribute content via YouTube.
Beyond the onsite activations and screens that TIFF has traditionally provided to filmmakers, the new partnership between YouTube and TIFF means the festival can also give them a “massive new audience” that it has enabled through YouTube’s digital distribution path, said Brown. TIFF’s use of this distribution method “will have a massive impact in terms of how people think about where to source high-quality content on YouTube,” he said.