TIFF Co-Founder Bill Marshall Dies At 77

Trailblazer died of cardiac arrest on New Year's Day.

Jennifer Coxby Jennifer Cox

Toronto International Film Festival co-founder Bill Marshall has passed away. He was 77 and died of cardiac arrest on New Year’s Day.

The family released a statement, which included the following:

In a very real way Bill was in the business of making dreams become reality and he continued doing so to the very end with several new projects in development. Now, as the house lights dim, friends and family will remember and honour Bill as a first-rate raconteur, famous for his honesty, keen mind, and wry humour.

TIFF also released the following statement on their website:

We are deeply saddened by the passing of our friend and TIFF Chair Emeritus Bill Marshall.

Founder of the Festival of Festivals in 1976 (along with Co-Founders Henk Van der Kolk and Dusty Cohl), Bill was also the organization’s Director in its first three years. He was a pioneer in the Canadian film industry and his vision of creating a public Festival that would bring the world to Toronto through the transformative power of cinema stands today as one of his most significant legacies.

Without his tenacity and dedication, the Toronto International Film Festival would not be among the most influential public cultural festivals today. We were so fortunate to have Bill serve as one of our greatest champions for 41 years. Our thoughts are with his wife Sari Ruda, his children Lee, Stephen and Shelagh, his six grandchildren and their family and friends.

Piers Handling Director & CEO, TIFF

Photo: TIFF