Toronto fest sets new place to hobnob

Festival introduces large downtown hub

The Toronto Film Festival is expanding its industry programming and introducing a large downtown hub for movers and shakers this year.

The new Filmmakers’ Lounge will be open Sept. 9-18 and provide a meet, greet and eat space close to TFF’s Bell Lightbox base.

Lounge activities include the new “Focus On …” series that will explore trends with sessions covering film-game convergence (with “Avatar” producer Jon Landau as a special guest), new horizons for 3D and creative co-producing.

The returning “Meet With …” series of daily informal sessions will feature experts weighing in on such hot topics as DIY distribution and “crowd-sourcing” film investment.

The new one-on-one Mogul sessions and the Doc Roundtables networking sessions with international documentary specialists also take place in the Lounge.

The Lounge will also host free WiFi, a gaming corner, DJ sets and a daily happy hour from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

Meanwhile, Lightbox will host a masterclass with “Barney’s Version” producer Robert Lantos on Sept. 16 and the one-day Doc Conference on Sept. 13. It features a discussion between fest filmmakers Werner Herzog (“Cave of Forgotten Dreams”) and Errol Morris (“Tabloid”); a case study of HBO’s work-in-progress “War Torn 1861-2010”; a wide-ranging discussion with Alex Gibney (“Client 9: The Rise and Fall of Eliot Spitzer”); and two New Frontiers in Doc Distribution panels.

The fest runs Sept. 9-19.

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