TIFF Bell Lightbox to unveil Nov 8 new Viola Desmond Cinema, with inaugural screening of Ava DuVernay’s Origin

Cameron Bailey announces the Viola Desmond Cinema (Photo: George Pimentel, 2022)

#TIFFBellLightbox; #NewViolaDesmondCinema; #AvaDuVernay; #Origin

Toronto/CMEDIA:  Following its 2021 debut, Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF)’s Viola Desmond Day on November 8, 2023 remains dedicated to honouring civil rights advocate and entrepreneur, Viola Desmond.

The newly christened Viola Desmond Cinema at TIFF Bell Lightbox will host its inaugural screening with a special presentation of Ava DuVernay’s acclaimed film, Origin, Cameron Bailey, TIFF CEO announced on Oct 25.

Besides investigating the global phenomenon of caste and its dark influence on society, Origin showcases how a journalist faces deep loss and uncovers the beauty of love and human resilience. 

Starring Academy Award nominee Aunjanue Ellis-Taylor (“King Richard”), OriginOrigin made its North American Premiere during TIFF 2023 and Inspired by the New York Times best-seller “Caste” and explores the mystery of history, the wonders of romance and a fight for our future. 

Inspired by Viola Desmond’s historic stand for her rights on the first floor of a Nova Scotia movie theatre in 1946, TIFF’s 2023 focus centres on the important concept of “Taking Up Space” with a special emphasis on empowering Black women. 

Joining forces with the Nia Centre for the Arts, TIFF presents a compelling public exhibition titled Here To Stay at the TIFF Bell Lightbox would reportedly  be on display from November 8 to December 10, 

Also featuring in the Viola Desmond Day 2023 will be the official unveiling of the Viola Desmond Cinema plaque in the presence of members of Viola and Wanda’s family.

Two dedicated seats with each seat bearing the name of one of the sisters was  introduced by the cinema in 2022.

TIFF CEO Cameron Bailey announced during the inaugural event in 2022, the commitment to name TIFF Bell Lightbox’s largest cinema the Viola Desmond Cinema, alongside a $2 million fundraising campaign to champion Black women creators and via TIFF’s Every Story fund.

This year, TIFF is proud to announce a lead gift from NBCUniversal as the presenting partner of the Viola Desmond Cinema campaign’s commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging in film as a founding fund partner of Every Story.