Noah Cowan, former co-director of the Toronto International Film Festival, has died at the age of 55.
Cowan’s publicist confirmed he died Wednesday in Los Angeles after a battle with glioblastoma, which he was diagnosed with in December 2021.
Cowan’s career climb at the festival began when he took a volunteer job at the box office in 1981.
He held various positions at the fest until he joined a team that helped establish the Midnight Madness program in 1988, taking over as lead the following year and running the cult-film program until 1996.
Cowan also ran Cowboy Pictures, an indie film distributor in New York City that provided support for first-time filmmakers, from 1993 to 2001, overlapping with some of his years at TIFF.
He returned to the festival as co-director in 2004, holding the position until he became artistic director of the TIFF Bell Lightbox from 2008 to 2014.
Cowan who was born in Hamilton and graduated from McGill University in 1989.
He is survived by husband John O’Rourke and parents Nuala FitzGerald Cowan and Edgar Cowan, among other family members and loved ones.
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