Toronto is home to an increasing number of film festivals. Some are world-famous, other relatively obscure. While most are intended for a specific group, they also appeal to a wider audience. Film festivals in Toronto are mostly in English, yet there are some in other languages, which speaks to the diversity present here. Please add ONLY film festivals based in Toronto. Film festivals can be current or those which no longer exist - please make sure you indicate where festivals no longer exist!
- The Toronto African Film and Music Festival - The Toronto African Film and Music Festival is a premier festival dedicated to celebrating African culture and history. It will showcase the talents of filmmakers and music artists from across Africa
- Art of Love International Film Festival - ALIFF - Started in 2004, ALIFF offers wide exposure to filmmakers for their features, based on the theme of the Festival: LOVE, in all its forms. Send us your films! http://www.artoflovefilmfestival.com/home/
- The Brazil Film Fest - The Brazil Film Fest showcasees films from Brazil. It is held concurrently in Montréal (in English and French), as well as in Toronto. http://www.brazilfilmfest.net/toronto/festival.htm.
- The Breast Fest Film Festival - The Breast Fest Film Festival will showcase the many issues surrounding breast cancer on the silver screen, including short films, documentaries and dramatic features. http://www.breastfestfilmfest.com.
- Canadian Labour International Film Festival - CLiFF - IMAGINE A WORLD where thousands of films are made about workers and the conditions under which they live, work, fight, and succeed in their daily lives! In 2009, Toronto will see the first-ever Canadian Labour International Film Festival (CLiFF). This will also mark the first ever labour-oriented film festival in Canada. The world of labour has found it increasingly difficult to communicate its message as fewer and fewer people have greater control over the means of communication - the media. It is more important than ever that working people be able to tell their own stories in their own words and in their own images. With the wide availability of digital still and video cameras, camera-phones, and other tools, activists can now make their stories - but still find it difficult to exhibit their narratives. CLiFF will be that venue, the first of many throughout Canada, we hope, and around the world. Not only do we want to show films, we want to encourage MAKING films to show at this and other festivals. We want to partner with any and all organisations friendly to those who do work, those who represent workers, and those who advocate on the behalf of workers. We also want to work with those whose mission it is to tell the stories of workers. We also plan to create partnerships with organisations that teach the arts of film-making. Visit our website to see things as they develop and (please) send us ideas.http://www.labourfilms.ca
- Cinefranco Film Festival - All films are subtitled in English to enable the non-French speaker who is a cinephile to come to Cinéfranco and enjoy the films. Cinéfranco becomes accessible to all. Cinéfranco's goals are to celebrate and promote the diversity and richness of French language cinema as an opportunity for Francophones, Francophiles and film lovers: To enjoy films rarely seen or not distributed in Toronto cinemas; To give a voice and an identity to the Francophone communities in Toronto, in Ontario and outside the borders of Quebec; To foster tolerance through the discovery and understanding of other cultures and civilizations; To enable students of the French language to listen to, practice and enjoy the language in a resonant cultural milieu; To enable the fragmented Francophone communities to mingle and interface; To enrich the filmic culture in Toronto and Ontario; To foster and develop a taste for French language cinema in order; To demand a stronger commercial presence and distribution of French language cinema; To further and promote friendship, cultural exchanges between the provinces of Ontario and Quebec; To enhance the international profile of Toronto in Canada and in the worldwide film community. http://www.cinefranco.com/
- CFC Worldwide Short Film Festival - The Canadian Film Centre's Worldwide Short Film Festival has become recognized as one of the premiere short-film festivals and one of the only short-film festivals in Canada recognized by the Oscars. North America's premiere venue and marketplace for the exhibition and promotion of short film. A qualifying festival for the Oscars®, Genies® and BAFTAs®. Over 250 short films from 3000 submissions. $125k in prizes. http://www.worldwideshortfilmfest.com/
- Cinema of Jazz - The Cinema of Jazz runs in between two of Canada's leading jazz festivals and xhibits a fine collection of jazz documentaries, fictions, animations, shorts and experimentals from around the world
- COMMFFEST - Community Film Festival - COMMFFEST showcases a wide variety of local, national, and international films. Its main objective is to bring communities together to increase awareness and understanding that we are more alike than not. Each film represents a voice to share experiences, educate others on their struggles, and discover common bonds of solidarity. COMMFFEST aims to present a broad and diverse overview of films representing current affairs and relevant issues that affect our communities, providing an opportunity for filmmakers to express themselves freely and connect with audiences on a more personal level. The collective mix of film, filmmakers, and audiences creates a dynamic atmosphere to provoke thought and stimulate further understanding and exploration of ideas, attitudes, and emotions that can foster change – starting with the communities in which we live. http://www.commffest.com/
- Democratic Disruptions - Democratic Disruptions was first organised in 2007 by Oishik Sircar at the The Graduate Law Students Association of the Faculty of Law, University of Toronto (GLSA). It is a documentary film festival on stories of struggle and triumph from India.
- Desh Pardesh - Desh grew out of Salaam Toronto (1988), a one-day arts event aimed at increasing the visibility of the South Asian lesbian and gay community, organized by Khush, an organization for South Asian Gay men.
- Eco Art & Media Festival - Every spring since 1995, the Wild Garden Media Centre, based in the Faculty of Environmental Studies at York University, has coordinated the Eco Art & Media Festival, a multi-day event to celebrate and share diverse forms of creative expression with the goal of inspiring public discussion, engagement and dialogue around a specific, changing environmental/social theme. As a campus-wide and community event, the Eco Art & Media Festival is co-sponsored with other faculties and departments, as well as non-profit organizations that share our vision of community art for education and social change. http://www.yorku.ca/ecoart/
European Union Film Festival - Since its creation in 2004, the Eh!U Meet the Europeans - European Film Festival has grown to be the leading European film festival in Toronto. Started out by 19 European embassies, consulates and cultural centers to showcase European films never before screened in Canada, now has grown to 23 European countries: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden. Our mandate is "Conveying the rich and diverse culture of Europe through a selection of its finest and most recent films."
- To present a film festival reflecting the excellence, innovation and diversity of European cinema
- To feature Canadian premieres of European films
- To showcase national and international award-winning films
- To engage in cultural collaborations and dialogues between EU countries and Canada
- To support and feature emerging and established filmmakers
- To offer a professional cinematic experience, fully accessible and free of charge
- To celebrate the diversity of Europe in the heart of the most multicultural city in the world
- Filmi - * Strengthening the emerging South Asian identity with the global film industry ans celebrating South Asian talent. http://www.filmi.org/
- Green Docs Film Fest - On Saturday November 1, 2008 at Eglinton St. George’s United Church in the Lytton Park Neighbourhood, View 3 of 12 recent environmental documentaries, and enjoy a meal of chili, bread, and organic treats. All for only $15. Also purchase Eco-friendly products and gather information. Call 416-481-1141, ext. 250 to reserve your seats. Films will be shown from 4 p.m. - 9 p.m.
- Hot Docs: Canadian International Documentary Festival - An annual celebration of excellence in documentary film and television, Hot Docs has built a reputation for showcasing the best in documentary cinema.
- Images Festival of Independent Film and Video - Images profiles film, video, digital arts and related installation works on the independent leading edge around the world.
- Inside Out: Lesbian and Gay Film and Video Festival of Toronto - One of the world's best and largest queer festivals and Toronto's second most popular film festival, in terms of attendees. Last year it screened over 320 works.
- The Toronto Italian Film Festival - The Toronto Italian Film Festival was launched in 1999. The Festival screens films by both new and established filmmakers and as well as classics from legendary masters. The Festival is an annual event not just for Italians but the community at large who love Italian cinema at its best. The Toronto Italian Film Festival’s goal is to educate and expose Italians and the community at large to Italian film culture. The Festival obtains and exhibits Italian films made in Italy, Canada and elsewhere in the world and showcases them at theatres in Toronto. In addition, the Festival provides an opportunity for the young and aspiring filmmakers with an opportunity to have their films shown and exposed to a large audience. http://www.italianfilmfest.com/
- Toronto Jewish Film Festival - The festival showcases feature films, shorts and documentaries on the Jewish experience around the world and is the second-largest Jewish film festival in North America.
- Moving Pictures Festival of Dance on Film and Video - Moving Pictures is Canada's only festival devoted to the intersections of dance and the media arts. The week-long festival of screenings, panels and performance events is followed by a national tour.
- MobiFest - MobiFest aims to bring fame and notoriety to the the emergent art of mobile or "pocket" films. This international competition is open to all filmmakers over the age of 16. http://www.mobifest.net/
- Mpenzi: Black Women’s International Film and Video Festival - Mpenzi: Black Women’s International Film and Video Festival® grew out of a small Toronto Queer women’s organization. One of their programs was a “movie nite” of films and videos made by women. Adonica Huggins joined the group in 2001 because she was interested in film, and transformed this event into the “Black and Queer Black Women’s Film and Video Festival”. The new Festival was held in February and organized by Huggins as Program Director and other Black women and Women of Colour. In 2002 the newly named event screened at The 519 Church Street Community Centre, drawing well over the room’s capacity of 100 people. The Festival attendance jumped to 200 people in 2003 at the Central YMCA, and then to a sold-out audience of well over 200 in 2004 when it moved to the National Film Board of Canada. Later in 2004 the Festival became independent of its original host organization, and with the assistance of the 2004–2005 Advisory Committee (Filmmakers Alison Duke and Dawn Wilkinson; Camera Operator Collette Browne; Programmers Kathleen Mullen and Nadia Hohn; Writer and Equity Consultant Annemarie Shrouder; Civil Rights Lawyer Kikélola Roach; Mentor Yvonne Huggins; and Web Master Natasha Sawyer), Huggins founded and trademarked Mpenzi: Black Women’s International Film and Video Festival®. In 2005 Mpenzi screened at the NFB and tickets were sold out well in advance. In 2006 Mpenzi moved to the Medical Sciences Building Auditorium at the University of Toronto where it was able to accommodate over 300 people. Mpenzi has consistently received rave reviews from its audiences. http://www.mpenzi.ca/
- Planet In Focus - Planet in Focus is Canada's first annual environmental film and video festival with a mandate to promote the use of film and video as catalysts for discussion on the social and ecological health of the planet.
- Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival - A four-day festival with an emphasis on Asian independent visions and emerging talent. http://www.reelasian.com/
- Reelworld Film Festival - At ReelWorld, our mandate is to recognize the excellence and achievement of emerging diversity in film, video, and new media. This will be accomplished by meeting our four main objectives: 1) To showcase and promote the work of diverse film and video makers and film artists to Canadian and international audiences. 2) To facilitate a forum where film and video makers and other film artists can interact and pitch their ideas to producers and investors. 3) To bring together film artists from diverse Canadian communities to network, dialogue, share, critique, and support each other’s work and relevant works from the international community. 4) To provide training through seminars, workshops, and special events aimed at the racially and culturally diverse Canadian film and video making community.
- Rendezvous With Madness Film Festival - The festival's mandate is to screen short films with features that explore the realities and myths of mental illness, mental-health problems and / or addictions.
- Salon de Refuses - LIFT presents a non-curated selection of Canadian films that were rejected by the Toronto International Film Festival.
- Toronto Singapore Film Festival - The TSFF presents to Canadian audiences the unique experience of Singapore, through celluloid creations of Singaporean filmmakers. The festival, inaugurated in 2006, aims to be an ideal introduction of Singapore for audiences in Canada. http://www.tsff.org/
- Spinning Wheel Film Festival - The arts are a representation of human emotion in a form that can be seen, touched and heard. When an artist’s labour produces a masterpiece one can be sure that divinity has touched the artist, if even for a brief moment in time. The Spinning Wheel Film Festival has done a great seva (service) by showcasing films which span all genres, giving the audience a chance to view, ponder and discuss provocative and evocative films made to highlight the Sikh experience. This festival is a platform for Sikh awareness, showcasing talent through both films and exhibitions. The Spinning Wheel Film Festival has cultivated an event that represents the diverse talent within the Sikh community through music, photography and film. Let us celebrate the accomplishments of the various artists whose work will brighten our future. http://www.swfftoronto.com
- Splice This! Toronto's Super 8mm Film Festival - This small-gauge freakout weekend features live music, installations, performances, panel discussions, workshops and Super 8 films of every variety from the far reaches of the world.
- Sprockets: Toronto International Film Festival For Children - From the people who bring you the Toronto International Film Festival, a two-weekend film series of international live-action and animated family films with children's workshops.
- Short & Sweet - Weekly short film evening. Every Monday, selection of the best in short film, animation and music video from around the world. Films start at 8 p.m. Always FREE.
- Toronto Human Rights Watch Film Festival The Human Rights Watch Toronto Committee is one of a network of Human Rights Watch Committees in Europe and North America. These Committees seek to increase awareness of local and global human rights issues and enlist the public and influence governments to support basic rights for all. Composed of opinion leaders and activists from a variety of backgrounds, the committee was launched out of the belief that an engaged constituency is essential for the defense of human rights. Toronto Committee members are regularly briefed by Human Rights Watch investigators, senior government officials, and informed observers. The Committee strengthens Human Rights Watch and its global defense of essential liberties by contributing financially, attracting potential supporters, and promoting the organization’s message. The Committee hosts two major events each year - the Annual Voices for Justice Dinner and the Human Rights Watch Film Festival. The Committee also supports various other Human Rights Watch activities and initiatives throughout the year. During the 2006 International AIDS Conference, the Toronto Committee was actively involved in organizing an HRW booth and sponsored Beatrice Were, a Ugandan AIDS activist, to attend the Conference and a reception in her honour. http://humanrightsfilmfestival.ca/about/
- Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) - The Toronto International Film Festival is the largest and most popular in North America and second only to Cannes in importance for filmmakers and distributors to launch their films Included is Perspective Canada, the best selection of Canadian features and shorts in the world.The Toronto International Film Festival Group (TIFFG) is a charitable, not-for-profit, cultural organization whose mission is to transform the way people see the world. Its vision is to lead the world in creative and cultural discovery through the moving image. http://www.tiff08.ca
- Toronto Nepali Film Festival (TNFF) : Toronto Nepali Film Festival (TNFF) is a not for profit organization based in Toronto, Ontario. Partnering with organizations in Canada, Nepal and beyond, TNFF brings a festival of extraordinary Nepali films in Toronto and other cities. By featuring films of South Asia, specifically Nepal, TNFF intends to add a fresh dimension to the multi-layered diaspora narratives of Canada. The festival features films that pertain to Nepal, and is open to both Nepali and non-Nepali film-makers. The festival showcases all genres of films including feature length films, documentaries, animation, experimental, and shorts. The festival encourages diversity in the overall content of its program by encouraging representation of women film-makers, film-makers from indigenous nationalities and other marginalized communities. All participating films are paid an honorarium. At TNFF, Art is our soul and Films takes the center stage. And merging them together is what we know and what we do best. So if you have always had a love for art and wanted to see up close how a film festival comes together, you are home. You will have ample opportunity to get a peek into your creative side and like the cliche goes, unless you try, you may never know. http://www.tnff.ca/ (email: [email protected])
- Toronto Palestine Film Festival (TPFF) - As conceived by Palestine House, the Festival is an important component of the year-long activities commemorating the 60th Anniversary of the Nakba. Cinema represents a powerful means for visually interpreting the collective identity and historic struggle of the Palestinian people. The Festival will present in film the extraordinary narrative of a dispossessed people living in exile or under Israeli occupation. The main objectives of the festival are to highlight the Palestinian narrative and to introduce the rich variety of historic and contemporary Palestinian film to a broad Canadian audience. Most importantly the Festival will provide the context and opportunity for increasing solidarity within the Palestinian community and with friends and allies locally and internationally. The first annual Toronto Palestine Film Festival (TPFF) is scheduled to take place October 2008 in various theatres in Toronto and Mississauga. http://www.tpff.ca/
- University of Toronto Film & Video Festival - The University of Toronto Film Festival was started in 2002 by Hart House Theatre with a mandate to celebrate and promote the U of T's rich contribution to the arts through its student and alumni filmmakers. The Festival quickly gained popularity and experienced rapid growth with the support of other U of T agencies, student groups and community sponsors. the U of T Film & Video Festival is offering filmmakers on the campus and from around the world the opportunity to screen their work at the world renowned University of Toronto. http://www.uoftfilmfest.ca/