Statement from the TFCA Regarding COVID Protocols

August 16, 2021

Dear Film Industry Colleagues,

The rising case counts, ongoing vaccine hesitancy, and new concerns associated with the Delta variant remind us that the COVID-19 pandemic is not over. Moreover, as some distributors return to mixed press/public screenings, this option invites another set of variables and the distractions they bring. While some critics may prefer the return to in-person screenings, personal safety levels vary. These are the conditions we request in order to feel comfortable at screenings; links are a logical compromise when accommodating such conditions are not possible.

Digital screening links allow us to do our jobs effectively during the pandemic without the safety concerns that in-person screenings bring for critics who are immunocompromised, have mobility issues, have family members whose safety needs to be considered, among other factors. The past year has built upon years of trust between critics and industry peers to treat screening links with the utmost discretion, and we will continue to screen films with the confidence entrusted to us.

The TFCA kindly requests that distributors, producers, publicists, and festivals consider the following throughout the COVID-19 pandemic

·        Provide press-only screenings in venues large enough to accommodate physical distancing;
·        Provide a screening link option for critics unable to attend in-person;
·        Require attendees to wear masks at in-person screenings throughout the duration of the film and while entering/exiting the theatre;
·        Require proof of full vaccination for all in-person screenings, whether press and industry-only or mixed P&I/public, as well as all in-person events, such as junkets, interviews, conferences, etc.

We thank the studio reps, publicists, and industry peers who quickly shifted to making digital screening links available as an alternative, as well as the theatre operators and staff who have worked tirelessly to put safety measures in place as cinemas reopened. We thank our peers who have facilitated press-only screenings and allowed critics to return to the theatrical experience with physically distancing and mask requirements. This allowed our members and peers in the industry—critics, journalists, bloggers, and influencers—to continue to do their jobs effectively, review films, interview talent, and spread the word about all the films available to audiences.

We believe these are reasonable requests to ensure that critics can continue to cover movies regardless of their circumstances and continue to give our industry the support it needs during this difficult time.



Johanna Schneller, President
Patrick Mullen, Vice-President
Marc Glassman, Treasurer
-Toronto Film Critics Association