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Toronto Unveils Plans for New Film Center

Toronto Unveils Plans for New Film Center

The Toronto International Film Festival is planning a new film center that's expected to be completed for the September 2006 festival.

"The festival center that we want to build will... act not just as a magnet for our own very talented filmmakers, but I believe it will act as a place where the world will come to Toronto, to celebrate film, to see films and to learn more about them," festival director Piers Handling said Tuesday.

Handling said having a single location for the festival has been a dream since its 1975 inception.

The $83 million complex will include a five-story building, a library and archives, along with screening, dining and bar facilities, and a Festival Tower condominium development.

Festival managing director Michele Maheux said a campaign to raise money to build the center was being launched, with $12.8 million already committed.

The project is a partnership that includes director Ivan Reitman ("Dave," "Kindergarten Cop"), who grew up in Toronto after emigrating with his family as a child from Czechoslovakia, his sisters and The Daniels Corp. real-estate developers.

"We saw this as a great opportunity to build something special, something that gives back to the profession that I've had the good fortune to be in, to give back to the city and this country that took us in as immigrants," Reitman said.

The September festival screens movies in several theaters around the city, with increasing demand for seats each year resulting in long lines and people shut out of some showings.


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