From 'Dune' to 'Jagged': Toronto International Film Festival to hold in-person screenings in September

The annual cinematic celebration will, however, still offer plenty of virtual events on its programme

This image released by Warner Bros. Entertainment shows Timothee Chalamet, left, and Rebecca Ferguson in a scene from the upcoming 2021 film "Dune." Warner Bos. Pictures on Thursday announced that all of its 2021 film slate will stream on HBO Max at the same time they play in theaters. (Chia Bella James/Warner Bros. Entertainment via AP)
Beta V.1.0 - Powered by automated translation

The Toronto International Film Festival is set to resume in-person screenings at its September gala after the pandemic forced the annual event to go virtual last year.

But there won't be any popcorn at this year's festival, which will be held between Thursday and Saturday, September 9 to 18, as cinema snack bars will be closed.

The red carpets will also look different due to social distancing and masking rules, as well as a possible clampdown on large crowds.

Canada also currently prohibits foreigners from entering the country for discretionary travel, so it's not yet clear if Hollywood film stars will be in attendance.

"We are so proud of the calibre of the films and the diversity of the stories we will be presenting this year," festival executive director Joana Vicente said on Wednesday.

"It is so powerful to be able to share these films with festival-goers in theatres," she added, noting the world is finally and "definitely moving towards a degree of normalcy".

Denis Villeneuve's highly anticipated adaptation of Frank Herbert's epic sci-fi fantasy novel Dune will have its first Imax screening in Toronto, roughly one week after its premiere at the Venice Film Festival.

Other films at the Toronto festival will include the Alanis Morissette documentary Jagged, the film Petite Maman directed by Celine Sciamma, Kenneth Branagh's Belfast starring Judi Dench, the Naomi Watts-led thriller Lakewood, and the documentary Dionne Warwick: Don't Make Me Over.

The largest film festival in North America is, in a normal year, crucial for Oscar-conscious studios and distributors, attracting hundreds of filmmakers and actors to Canada's largest city.

This year's hybrid festival, which will feature reduced cinema seating as well as screenings at drive-ins, is doubling to 100 the number of films that will be shown from last year, but is still down from its pre-pandemic average of roughly 300 feature and short films.

Digital screenings introduced last year will also return and likely continue into the future, allowing cinephiles across Canada to see the films from the comfort of their couch.