Bill Marshall’s family has issued a written statement saying he died in Toronto of a cardiac arrest on New Year’s Day. He was 77.
Marshall founded festival in 1976 with two colleagues, and served as the organization’s director in its first three years, according to the current director and CEO.
Piers Handling says Marshall helped build the festival into one of “the most influential public cultural festivals today.” It is North America’s largest film festival.
Marshall’s family said in its statement that he was a visionary in the Canadian film industry, and was also deeply involved in Toronto’s political landscape, serving as a campaign manager and chief of staff for three of the city’s past mayors.