Toronto folds Africa in fest

Bailey returns as international programmer

TORONTO — The Toronto Film Festival is dropping its Planet Africa program.

Films from Africa and the African diaspora will be rolled in with other programs, fest co-director Noah Cowan said Tuesday.

“The festival has a long tradition of developing distinct, regionally based programs and then reincorporating them back into traditional festival programming when our audience development and curatorial goals have been achieved,” he said. “The filmmakers are better served as being part of the main festival.”

Planet Africa founder Cameron Bailey, who is rejoining the festival as an international programmer, said that as with other former fest programs — Asian Horizons, Latin American Panorama and, most recently, Perspective Canada — it was the filmmakers who began to express disappointment at being relegated to the program.

Bailey is a programmer, film critic and screenwriter. He worked for the festival from 1990-97, founding Planet Africa in 1995. He will be programming films from Africa, South Asia and some American independents. He rejoins the festival after the departure of programmers Kay Armatage and Gaylene Gould.