Toronto International Film Festival founder William dies

Published: 10:57 GMT, Jan 2, 2017 |

Toronto International Film Festival founder William (Bill) Marshall has died at age 77. He was suffering cardiac arrest, according to a family statement released through TIFF’s press office Sunday.

Marshall, described as “a pioneer in the Canadian film industry,” died in hospital in Toronto on New Year’s Day, the statement said.

“In a very real way Bill was in the business of making dreams become reality,” read the statement. “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.”

The film trailblazer, who immigrated to Canada from Glasgow, Scotland in 1955, founded the festival in 1976 along with co-founders Henk Van der Kolk and Dusty Cohl. He has 13 different feature film credits to his name and also produced hundreds of documentaries.