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People stand on a red carpet behind the TIFF logo at the Toronto International Film Festival in Toronto, September 3, 2014.

MARK BLINCH/REUTERS

The list of programs comprising the 40th Toronto International Film Festival was announced Thursday, with two new series scheduled for the September cinematic happening.

The inaugural Platform program aims to showcase international pictures deemed to be artistically ambitious and made with strong directorial vision. "Our objective … is to offer greater visibility during the festival to distinctive and visionary films from around the world," TIFF director and CEO Piers Handling said in a statement. The festival's artistic director, Cameron Bailey, added that the new package would showcase "free, daring and transformative" films.

A three-person jury will award $25,000 to the best film in the new program, which itself is inspired by the 2000 Jia Zhangke epic masterpiece of the same name. Platform, which was voted by a TIFF Cinematheque-polled panel of cinephiles from around the world as the second-best film of the decade, traces the wave of cultural change in 1980s China through the eyes of a travelling troupe of performers.

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The second new program for the festival is Primetime, a nod to serial storytelling and television's current artistic renaissance.

Other adjustments for this year's festival, which runs Sept. 10 to 20, include the changing of the name of the onstage interview presentations. Previously titled Mavericks, the discussions with high-profile figures are now filed under In Conversation With…. Last year's Future Projections series, which involved films screened in galleries, has been dropped.

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