Bill Marshall, co-founder of the Toronto International Film Festival died Sunday in Toronto. He was 77.
According to his family, Marshall died of cardiac arrest. He was Member of the Order of Canada, an honour he received for his many contributions to the arts.
Alongside Henk Van der Kolk and Dusty Cohl, Bill Marshall co-founded TIFF ― originally called the Festival of Festivals ― in 1976. He was also the festival’s director until 1979.
Marshall produced 13 feature films, and numerous documentaries and live theater productions. Marshall also played an important role in helping establish various film organizations in Canada, including the Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television and The Toronto Film & Television Office.
“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.”
“Now, as the house lights dim, friends and family will remember and honor Bill as a first-rate raconteur, famous for his honesty, keen mind, and wry humor,” his family said.