The longest running free community film festival in Toronto, the Regent Park Film Festival, returns for its 16th season from Wednesday, November 14th to Saturday, November 17th, 2018. The Festival is dedicated showcasing the films of local and international independent talent. The films showcased are selected because they break cultural stereotypes, are relevant to people from all walks of life, and reveal the multi-faceted realities of being a human being.
A Rich History
This community festival began as the result of the determined efforts of community residents and volunteers. It was established with the goal of offering residents of Regent Park, and beyond, access to quality films that resonate with their personal experience. Its purpose was for residents to come together as a community to enjoy and engage with film, both as a means of human expression and as a catalyst for change.
Here is a little bit of what you can expect and look forward to at this year’s Festival.
EMERGING DIRECTOR’S SPOTLIGHT
The Emerging Directors’ Spotlight is the opening night program for the festival. It takes place on November 14th, from 7:30 pm until 10 pm, and features some of the most promising talents and work from female directors under 26 years old. Following the screenings of their short films, there will be a Q&A session and a pitch contest with an Industry Panel. Attend to see who wins the cash prize to fund their next project! Be advised that the program contains mature subject matter. Some scenes of the films that will be screened contain nudity and a description of suicide.
The films included in this year’s Spotlight are:
A Little Different — Directed by Kayla Resendes
This 12-minute film follows a young boy and his mother as they work through the challenges they face as Portuguese Canadians.
The Citizen — Directed by Rebeca Ortiz
A 5-minute documentary following Fernando Ortiz. Fernando moved to Canada from Chile in the 1980’s in order to escape the dictatorship of Pinochet. Watch to follow his 25-year journey to become a Canadian citizen.
1 vers(us) 1 — Directed by Kourtney Jackson
This 5-minute experimental film takes you inside the mind of a young woman dealing with the intersectionality of faith, womanhood and the immigrant experience.
Feathers Falling — Directed by Maddy Pilon
A 20-minute documentary that examines the shocking death rates of Indigenous youth in Canada.
SELECTED FESTIVAL PROGRAMMING
The program schedule for this year’s Festival offers an impressive selection of feature films, shorts, documentaries, workshops, mixed media installations and Virtual Reality experiences. These are a few of notables you won’t want to miss.
On Saturday, November 17th, attend a breakfast screening of the celebrated animated feature The Breadwinner, Directed by Nora Twomey. A free breakfast will be served at 9 am and the movie will start at 10 am. You can watch the trailer for the film here.
Digital Activism Panel
The Digital Activism Panel gathers local artists and filmmakers together to discuss and explore the impacts and implications of the #MeToo movement on communities of colour, trans folks and beyond. Panellists will focus on how their work engages with ideas of social justice, sexual literacy and more. Join the discussion on Saturday, November 17th, from 12 pm to 1:30 pm.
In addition to the films, this year’s festival offers Virtual Spaces on November 15th and 16th, from 4 pm to 8 pm, and on November 17th from 11 am to 8 pm. These VR and video-based pieces are connected by a common theme of what it means to inhabit ground — where we stand and who we stand with. These spaces are open to the public, with no reservation required.
Home Made Visible
Home Made Visible is a collection of 7 short docs and mixed media installations from the BIPOC communities (Black Indigenous People of Colour) who are not proportionately represented in all media. Home Made Visible is a part of the free year-round programs run by the festival. Its mission is to expand the representation in Canada’s media archives of Indigenous and Visible Minorities by digitizing old home movies for free. This program runs on November 17th, from 2:30 pm to 4 pm.
This is only a sliver of what you can expect to see on the silver screen and beyond at the 16th annual Regent Park Film Festival. Come and see what you’ve been missing all these years. The Festival is free to attend, but your seats should be reserved in advance.
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