TIFF Offers 500 Frontline Workers Free Tickets To ‘Concrete Cowboy’ Virtual Screening

by Yinka Akanbi

Hundreds of workers on the frontlines of COVID-19 fight have received virtual tickets to see the screening of ‘Concrete Cowboy’ at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF).

TIFF has reached out to hospitals, long-term care facilities, mental health organizations and other groups in order to facilitate outreach to 500 essential frontline workers in the Greater Toronto Area.

“It is still hard to believe that we are all living through a global medical crisis,” TIFF Co-Heads, Cameron Bailey and Joana Vicente, said in a statement last week. “We could never have anticipated the global seismic changes we would be facing in 2020. We stayed true to the original spirit of the Festival from when it began in 1976 as our guiding light. We want to share our deep love of film, passion for our loyal audiences, and our gratitude to the frontline workers for the risks they took – and continue to take – during a time when it was safest to stay home. It is our pleasure to bring this great film to them.”

Directed by Ricky Staub, the film stars Idris Elba as a Philadelphia cowboy reconnecting with his estranged son, played by “Stranger Things” actor, Caleb McLaughlin. It tells the story of family reconciliation amidst one of America’s most unique subcultures: a generations-old world of Black horse trainers on the streets of North Philly.

‘Concrete Cowboy’ was made available on Monday, September 14, at 6pm on TIFF’s online film platform, Bell Digital Cinema, to the invited frontline workers.

Organisers also said that the “Best Seats in the House” would be reserved for frontline workers and COVID-19 community heroes at each of the 10 film screenings throughout the Festival, courtesy of RBC.

According to the statement, TIFF fans can nominate a deserving COVID-19 community hero for a special night out at the RBC Lakeside Drive-In.

The festival commenced on September 10 and will run till the 19th.

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