11 January 2008

Remembering TIFF Founder Dusty Cohl

Long-time TIFF supporters like yours truly are mourning the passing of Dusty (Murray) Cohl, who died earlier today at Toronto's Sunnybrook Hospital. Cohl was one of the founding fathers of the original Toronto "Festival Of Festivals", which began modestly in 1976 and eventually grew to become the Toronto International Film Festival, now acknowledged to be the most important cinematic spectacle in the world outside of Cannes. In addition to a successful career as a lawyer and concert promoter with his cousin Michael, in 2003, Cohl was given the Order of Canada, the highest civilian honor.

Roger Ebert, one of the festival's initial big-time enthusiasts and a fixture of Cohl's annual Floating Film Festival, has penned a fitting obit which you can read here.