Reelworld Film Festival celebrating diversity in Canadian cinema

Tonya Williams

The Reelworld Film Festival, known for its commitment to promoting diversity and inclusion in the Canadian Screen Industry, is back with a bang. In its 23rd edition, the festival has expanded to include the Reelworld Summit, offering a platform to celebrate Canadian talent and engage in crucial conversations about diversity, inclusion, and equity in the country’s film industry.

The Reelworld Film Festival+Summit is scheduled to run from November 1st to November 7th, promising an unforgettable experience for attendees. The summit, taking place on November 1st and 2nd, will feature a packed agenda with keynote speeches, industry discussions, fireside chats, research presentations, pitch opportunities, and networking events. Meanwhile, the festival will showcase a lineup of film screenings, filmmaker mixers, and the annual awards show.

Tonya Williams, Founder and Executive Director of Reelworld Screen Institute, expressed her enthusiasm, stating, “After 23 years of showcasing outstanding talent from the Canadian Black, Indigenous, Asian, South Asian, and People of Colour communities at the Reelworld Film Festival, we are thrilled to announce an exciting expansion—The Reelworld Film Festival+Summit, an event dedicated to celebrating Canadian talent.” Williams added, “Reelworld is all about ensuring that diverse voices are being heard, so it was important for us to add this component to have a hub for those conversations. Join us for an unforgettable experience that continues to shine a spotlight on diversity and inclusion in the Canadian screen industry.”

Jennifer Holness

The festival’s opening night will feature the Canadian-British-Filipina director Kim Albright’s debut feature film, “With Love and a Major Organ,” on November 1st at The Royal (608 College Street). The subsequent screenings will take place at Paradise Theatre (1006c Bloor St W), while the summit will be hosted at the Marriott Courtyard (475 Yonge St).

The Reelworld Summit promises a diverse range of discussions, covering topics such as AI in the film industry, securing private funding for films, Indigenous co-productions, industry lessons from US strikes, and strategies for the survival and success of production companies. The summit will also feature a keynote speech by acclaimed filmmaker Jennifer Holness and a fireside chat with 2023 Reelworld Visionary Award recipient Anita Lee, TIFF Chief Programming Officer, and 2023 Reelworld Award of Excellence recipient Traci Melchor of CTV’s ETALK and Canada’s Drag Race.

Tickets and passes for the Reelworld Film Festival+Summit can be purchased on the festival’s official website.