The Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) runs annually for 10 days in September beginning on the Thursday after Labour Day. The largest film festival in North America, its international stature is second only to the Cannes Film Festival. Unlike most major film festivals, which are open only to members of the industry and media, TIFF’s status as a public festival has made it an ideal testing ground for a film’s commercial appeal. That, combined with its September schedule, has made it a major launching pad for Oscar contenders and the more serious fare of the fall film schedule. It has also proven to be a key showcase for Canadian cinema, documentary films and experimental works. The 2016 edition of TIFF featured 397 films (296 features and 101 shorts), 138 of which were world premieres, while the 2017 lineup was streamlined by 20 per cent.