COMMFFEST 2019 Oct 1-10
The 2019 COMMFFEST will celebrate 14 years from October 3-6 screening in movie theatres and exhibition spaces, presented yearly by a group of dedicated volunteers. COMMFFEST a charitable corporation makes its home in one of Toronto’s most fast growing, economically diverse neighbourhood, Old Town Toronto, where many languages are spoken and where memorable films like Robcob; Cinderella Man, Chicago, X-Men, The Hurricane, and Against the Ropes were created. (Our Art exhibition runs from Oct. 1-10)
COMMFFEST gives voice to the marginalized and disenfranchised through global connective stories, championing our differences and similarities while strengthening the awareness that we are more alike than not.
COMMFFEST presents a broad range of local and international films representing current affairs and relevant issues that affect our society. COMMFFEST provides opportunities for emerging filmmakers, artists, musicians and global community stakeholders to express themselves freely and to connect with audiences on a more personal level. This unique blend 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.
The last 14 years Commffest has built a valuable platform for introducing new and emerging filmmakers as well as bring together communities and not for profit organizations with government officials in panel discussions to tackle pertinent issues often resulting in more funding and support for these groups.
As an independent film-maker, you work often for a year or possibly years to direct, edit, produce a film and then comes the waiting game to be selected by a film festival. COMMFFEST is more than a community film festival in Toronto; it is an art festival with a world perspective and I am most fortunate to have been part of the 2015 film festival programming with my documentary, "Forgotten". COMMFFEST's vision is to share stories that demonstrate the strength, struggles and beauty of humankind while providing a strong platform for independent film makers to showcase their perspective and vision of our world today and into the future. We need festivals like COMMFFEST who step away from the mainstream and champion works where the viewpoint is critical, enlightened or visionary in their approach to conflicts or issues that prevail throughout Toronto, Canada, North American and worldwide.
For me, COMMFFEST has been where my films have finally reached their maturity by connecting through the big screen with their audience. It is this connection that is essential for any artistic endeavour. As this may be the case with most other festivals, however, in my direct experience with COMMFFEST I clearly felt that each artist was given special attention, a chance to have a dialogue about their creation and ultimately was embraced in a celebration of their achievement. COMMFFEST founders and organizers are filled with the love of films and arts and clearly possess the vision and generosity to make this celebration happen every year. I look forward to being part of the next celebration either as an artist or a member of its community.
COMMFFEST mission statement:
To advance education by raising the cultural, artistic and aesthetic expression of communities and to advance the public’s appreciation of the arts through related artistic workshops and panel discussions, while promoting the works of filmmakers and artists alike.
The programming: The films are chosen by a jury of professionals from a globally solicited call for submissions. Once chosen, the programming is created to generate discussion around specific world events and themes, provoking dialogue and acceptance of others and their concerns.
The COMMFFEST AWARDS: Best Film and Honourable Mention are the two categories for the MADA (Making a Difference) Awards. The MADA goes to filmmakers whose work champions’ social good and community enrichment. Whether young or old, seasoned or just beginning, cinematic storytellers are welcomed into COMMFFEST with opportunities to engage and inspire audiences.
Local Educational engagement:
Children from local schools Nelson Mandela Public School, Market Lane Public School, St Michael’s Catholic School, The Downtown Alternative School and afar now include the COMMFFEST festival experience as part of their annual curriculum.
COMMFFEST’S unique diversity invites the world to one local community event over 8 days in Toronto. FILMS OF ANY GENRES (global and local) CULTURAL, SOCIAL AND COMMUNITY ISSUES ACCEPTED combined with independently produced films. Included in that mix are childrens' issues, poverty, human rights LGBTQ, women's rights, third world struggles, environmental issues affecting communities, e.t.c