Published Sep 19, 2016The Toronto International Film Festival brought an overwhelming number of great films to the city over the last 10 days, and with it came plenty of constructive discussions about the need for diversity in filmmaking. Unfortunately, however, the film world's old, sexist way of thinking also appeared to rear its head at the film's closing party.
Alison Zimmer, a former TIFF staffer, attended the fest's closing party, where she discovered that it was populated by scantily clad women in TIFF-branded cheerleader outfits. In an attempt to point out her frustrations, she wrote a lengthy and impassioned statement about the event.
"This was not a sponsor activation, but women hired by TIFF to 'enhance the event'. Enhance for who, exactly?" she wrote. "What does it say to the women who work for TIFF, the female filmmakers and industry guests and the general public when they walk into an official TIFF event to see women treated as objects? What tone does it set for how women are to be treated, respected? For me, this undoes any good will from the endless women in film panels, strides towards equity in programming and stated commitments to representation."
Zimmer's Facebook post has been shared over 200 times since it was written earlier today. You can read it in full below (shared with Zimmer's permission).