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TIFF’s Noah Cowan on Russia’s anti-gay legislation

'We are very, very concerned'

Noah Cowan, artistic director of the TIFF Bell Lightbox, talks with Andrea Houston about the protest, as well as TIFF’s position on Russia’s anti-gay laws.

Noah Cowan, artistic director of the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) Bell Lightbox, says that he is fearful of a chill settling over the Russian filmmaking community because of recent anti-gay legislation passed there.

"There is just an undercurrent of fear about what this means overall for the condition of LGBT people in Russia," Cowan says. "But once you see one group starting to get targeted, how long does it take for the artists to get targeted?"

Cowan was responding to protests held in Toronto on Sept 8 against the Russian laws. Led by the group #TOwithRussia, the protests ended at the front entrance of the Lightbox in hopes that the media attention currently centred on the film festival would raise awareness about the issue.

For more, watch Andrea Houston's video interview with Cowan, and check out our coverage of the protest. Check in with Daily Xtra for our ongoing coverage of TIFF.