- Launch of Festival of Festivals, a public, noncompetitive event for commercial and arthouse fare. Screens 127 films.
- Debut of “Outrageous!” creates a buzz that ultimately shapes its promotional campaign, helping it become one of Canada’s biggest hits.
- Premiere of doc “Best Boy” sells out three shows, goes on to win documentary Oscar. Launch of Trade Forum, formalizes industry element.
- “Chariots of Fire” is a Toronto premiere and goes on to win the picture Oscar. Acclaim for Jean-Jacques Beineix’s “Diva” convinces European distribs to release it overseas again; pic goes on to become an international hit.
- Newly inaugurated Director’s Spotlight marks North American premiere of Pedro Almodovar’s “Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown.”
- Offbeat movie showcase Midnight Madness debuts.
- “Reversal of Fortune” premieres; Jeremy Irons goes on to win an Academy Award.
- Budding filmmakers Baz Luhrmann, Peter Jackson, Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino all screen films at the fest.
- Stephen Frears’ “The Snapper” edges out “The Piano” for the Audience Award. The Holly Hunter pic goes on to win Oscars for actress, supporting actress and original screenplay.
- Festival of Festivals officially renamed the Toronto Intl. Film Festival
- Number of films unspooling hits 300. “Leaving Las Vegas” debuts to strong acclaim. Nicolas Cage later snags the actor Oscar.
- “Shine” wins every eligible prize and caps that with an actor Oscar for Geoffrey Rush.
- “Life Is Beautiful” screens; goes on to win actor, foreign-language and original score Oscars.
- Screenings of future Oscar nominees include “American Beauty,” “The Cider House Rules,” “Sweet and Lowdown,” “Boys Don’t Cry” and “The Hurricane.”
- “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” screens; will win the foreign-language Oscar.
- Lions Gate acquires horror pic “Cabin Fever” after it screens in Midnight Madness for an estimated $3.5 million, plus a $12 million P&A commitment.
- “The Barbarian Invasions,” a future foreign-language Oscar winner, opens the fest.
- “Crash” ignites bidding war, selling to Lions Gate for north of $4 million. Future Oscar winners “Ray” (actor) and “Sideways” (screenplay) debut.