TUFF Subway Film Fest Set To Run On Toronto’s TTC Digital OOH Screens

TUFF_2015_subway_Loop - print res version copy

The Toronto International Film Festival will soon take over the cinemas and chic hotels of downtown Toronto, and below the streets, the Toronto Urban Film Festival, aka TUFF, is about to take over screens in the subway system.

Described as North America’s largest commuter film festival, TUFF runs some of the world’s best one-minute silent films on PATTISON Onestop screens across the TTC system.

TUFF screens at 5-minute intervals on over 290 platform screens across Toronto’s subway system, getting about 1 million potential viewers daily. People who want to see the whole reel can do that in just 15 minutes on screens at the downtown St. Andrew subway station (King St. and University Ave.).

Says a press release:

Selected from the 420 submissions by emerging and accomplished filmmakers, video artists and animators from 43 countries, TUFF 2015 features seven programmes of official selections, special artist projects by TUFF Director Sharon Switzer, the artist collective Timeanddesire, and a co-presentation with Pakistan’s 60 Second International Film Festival (60SIFF), a total of 78 one-minute films.

“TUFF turns an ordinary Toronto subway commute into an extraordinary moment,” said TUFF Director Sharon Switzer. “Our ninth festival includes some amazing films from around the world as well as gems from local artists that range from charming to powerfully political.”

All TUFF films can be seen online and viewers are encouraged to cast their votes for the Viewers’ Choice Award from September 11 to 17, 2015. www.torontourbanfilmfestival.com.

TUFF 2015’s guest judge, accomplished Canadian filmmaker, Patricia Rozema (the recently completed Into the Forest starring Ellen Page, I’ve Heard the Mermaids Singing, Grey Gardens, Mansfield Park) selects the top three films of the festival. Over $20,000 in cash and prizes will be awarded at the TUFF Gala on Sunday, September 20, 2015.

“I was delighted to watch all the films in this year’s TUFF. The range of subjects and styles were vast: from rough and ready to commercial and polished. The best films demonstrated an urgent reason to communicate along with the technique to support it,” said Patricia Rozema. “Viewers are sure to be captivated.”

TUFF 2015 Line-Up

  • Nine days of programming on the TTC featuring exceptional 63 one-minute films playing every 5 minutes on PATTISON Onestop screens in subway stations across Toronto.
  • Artist Spotlight features #HEARDONTRANSIT, TUFF Director and video artist Sharon Switzer’s personal ode to public transportation and the wealth of humanity that inhabits it daily, on September 18.
  • TUFF co-presents 6 from 60SIFF on September 19, highlighting Pakistan’s 60 Second International Film Festival which showcases young filmmakers’ views on peace, conflict, tolerance, environment, water and energy. 60siff.com
  • TUFF Above Ground offers IT IS WHAT IT ISN’T, a series of 8-second videos by Timeanddesire, Toronto-based artists St Marie + Walker, on PATTISON’s giant video billboard (Yonge St., one block north of Dundas Square). timeanddesire.com
  • TUFF Beyond Toronto – Local Stories feature seven films representing five provinces;    playing every five minutes on screens in 43 shopping malls, reaching 5 million people across Canada.

TUFF’s Special Screening Rooms

  • New this year! TUFF is partnering with Toronto Public Library. The Atrium screen on the main floor at the Toronto Reference Library (789 Yonge St. at Bloor) will offer daily afternoon screenings projected in an ongoing 75-minute loop. September 12 – 20, noon – 4pm.  Admittance is free. torontopubliclibrary.ca
  • Returning – The Screening Room – Room 222 of the Drake Hotel. Enjoy 75 minutes of back-to-back TUFF from September 16 – 19, 11am – 5pm. Admittance is free. thedrakehotel.ca

Additionally, PATTISON Onestop is once again proud to co-produce a sister-festival to TUFF, the Gotta Minute Film Festival – featuring silent, one minute films on PATTISON Onestop screens in Edmonton Transit’s LRT system, from September 14 to 20, 2015.


Dave Haynes

Dave Haynes

Editor/Founder at Sixteen:Nine
Dave Haynes is the founder and editor of Sixteen:Nine, an online publication that has followed the digital signage industry for more than a decade. Dave does strategic advisory consulting work for many end-users and vendors, and also writes for many of them. He's based near Toronto.
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