So chances are you missed out on seeing the stars at TIFF again, even though you promised yourself you would take the time to go and check out that cool documentary or next summer’s sure-to-be mega-blockbuster. If this sounds like you, don't worry! Despite what the popular media would have you believe, TIFF isn't the only film festival offered in the city! In fact, you might be able to catch the other TIFF - that is, the Toronto Independent Film Festival - and actually be able to say that you did go to TIFF.
Especially since Toronto often prides itself on its artistic flair, it’s more than a little sad to see the diverse range of film festivals this city has to offer get brushed aside either by ignorance — "Wait, we have a Brazil Film Festival?" — or arrogance, in a more dismissive sort of way, "Yeah, like what Hollywood celebrities are gonna show up at the Scarborough Film Festival?"
Toronto is able to offer so much more than just glossy, big budget Oscar-hopeful movies, and that is something to be proud of! So, here is a small sample of the various film festivals that have been held or will be held in the not-so-distant future in Toronto:
Toronto Independent Film Festival: Unfortunately, this great festival was held September 7-16 this year, so by this point most of you have missed out on two TIFFs. However, there’s always next year, so why not check out both? TIFF 2 is one of the biggest celebrations of independent, low-budget films in North America, and the fact that that this festival happens right around the same time as the International TIFF makes it a great foot in the door for emerging filmmakers to get noticed by the big budget producers in town for the more well-known TIFF.
Open Roof Festival: A not-for-profit film and music festival that happens towards the end of June. Offering an amazing experience for attendees by combining two art forms together. It’s a great event for the people to come together as a city and as a community to watch good films and listen to some sweet beats.
Toronto After Dark Film Festival: Halloween is almost here, so tell that one friend who’s been spamming your page with Hocus Pocus GIFs ever since that one leaf fell in their front yard. The Toronto After Dark Film Festival is what they should be checking out if they’re oh-so anxious to get their spook on before the 31st. The dates this year are October 12-20th.
CineFranco: This organization organizes various film-related activities throughout the year, making it perfect for anyone looking to get more practice with their French, or if you’re just into French movies. Unlike some other French-oriented film festivals, the whole Francophone community is invited to contribute submission. This, gives the festival a nice cultural range including films from France, Belgium, Algeria, Senegal, and many other French-speaking nations from around the world.
ImagineNative Film and Media Arts Festival: A celebration of films and various media forms submitted by both Canada’s Indigenous peoples and other Indigenous groups from around the world. ImagineNative exists to give these artists the chance to promote their own stories, allowing for a greater understanding of Indigenous culture across the board.