Award-winning Canadian film producer Robert Lantos is helping Innis College celebrate the 30th anniversary of its Cinema Studies program by chairing a $7-million fundraising campaign.
“I’d like to make a contribution to the education and training of future filmmakers,” says Lantos. “I can do that effectively through the University of Toronto.”
The campaign will support enhancements to the Cinema Studies program and the expansion of the Innis Town Hall Complex. “Toronto is one of the world’s film centres, and I think it’s pivotal, and satisfying, that U of T is taking its place in the fabric of the Toronto-based film industry,” says Lantos, who has produced dozens of films, including Atom Egoyan’s Where the Truth Lies and David Cronenberg’s Crash. “I think the university can and should be a central point for all kinds of film activity.”
The University of Toronto launched Cinema Studies in 1975, when Canada’s commercial film industry was still in its infancy. Both have experienced considerable growth since then. “We’re very excited about the developments that we’re building upon right now,” says Charles Keil, director of the Cinema Studies program. “We’re trying to expand the ways in which we connect to the larger film community.”
The campaign will raise funds for a Chair in Canadian Cinema Studies, a Visiting Filmmakers/Scholars series and the renovation of the Innis Town Hall Complex. A master’s program is expected to be up and running by 2007, with a PhD program to follow. The campaign will benefit students of Innis College, says Keil, but also the thousands of community members who attend events at Innis Town Hall.