Reelworld Film Festival 2019 will kick off on October 17th, 2019 with our Opening Night Gala Screening at the Glenn Gould Studio, the Gem of the CBC. Following the screening there will be a moderated panel and Q&A with the artists.

Festival Screenings will take October 18-21st at Famous Players Canada Square. Festival Screenings are followed by “Conversations with with the Artist”, a space for artists to hear from members of their community, many of whom are seeing themselves authentically represented for the first time, and for a wider diverse audience to fully immerse themselves in intercultural experiences.

Reelworld’s VR and Gaming Exhibition will take place October 18th at the Toronto Reference Library Digital Innovation Hub. Explore immersive and hands-on VR film experiences.

Reelworld Closing Night Gala Screening and Awards Ceremony will take place at Famous Players Canada Square on October 21st. Reelworld is pleased to host a competitive film festival with a jury of industry professionals who recognize excellence in Canadian and International film. Winning a Festival award can be life-changing for a filmmaker, and can bring attention to the impactful stories that might not have otherwise reached wider audiences.


Reelworld’s Artistic Director and dedicated programming team aggressively seek out powerful works by Canadian BIPOC filmmakers. Our programming team consists of Executive and Artistic director, Tonya Williams, Tony Cianciotta, Joan Jenkinson, Floyd Kane, Ammar Keshodia, Kulbinder Saran Caldwell, Ella Cooper, Nataleah Hunter-Young, Marina Hanna, and Reza Sameni


Statement on Artist Fees: We are dedicated to paying artists fees in exchange for screening their work and for their time spent with the audience. Reelworld uses the Independent Media Arts Alliance to provide a guideline on payment for artist's work.

professional development

E20 Program
Our Emerging 20 (E20) Program gives opportunity to BIPOC artists and raises the level of the Canadian talent pool. Reelworld handpicks a group of 20 emerging BIPOC media artists with gender parity out of hundreds of applicants. The artists will attend three days of workshops and receive mentorship from professionals interested in supporting independent work by BIPOC artists.

Reelworld is an official partner of the Telefilm Talent to Watch program. Concluding the E20 program, artists will be eligible to submit their projects to receive up to $125,000 in TTTW funding.


Industry Panels

October 11th at the Toronto Reference Library, Reelworld industry panels create networking and professional development opportunities for emerging and underrepresented filmmakers and storytellers. Each panel features prominent BIPOC industry leaders and gives audience members the opportunity to ask questions and have discussion with the artists.

Year Round Programs
Reelworld’s year-round initiatives and programs are operated under the registered charity, Reelworld Foundation (Charitable #873045611RR0001). We host filmmaking workshops for youth, panels, partnered screenings, and events throughout the year.


As a non-profit and charity, Reelworld is deeply grateful to our funders and supporters who sustain the festival and year-round community initiatives and programs. To learn more about our partners and funders please visit our Supporters Page.


Founder & Executive Artistic Director, Tonya Williams 


Finance Manager, Rodrigo Diaz Varela
Development Director, Emily-Jane Williams

Marketing Coordinator, Christine Rajkumar

Industry Assistant, Kulbinder Saran Caldwell

Administrative and Operations Assistant, Frankie D. Fredrix

Festival Intern, Simran Dharamsey


To showcase, give opportunity to and provide professional development to Black, Indigenous, People of Colour (BIPOC) Canadian filmmakers and media artists whose work sparks positive social change.

Tonya Williams founded the Reelworld Film Festival in 2001 and Reelworld Foundation in 2002, to give opportunity to racially diverse Canadian filmmakers and media artists. Reelworld’s annual film festival is a registered non-profit organization, Reelworld Film Festival Inc. Reelworld’s year-round initiatives and programs are operated under the registered charity, Reelworld Foundation (Charitable #873045611RR0001)


Reelworld Film Festival showcases Canadian narrative features, documentaries, shorts, music videos, animation, episodic content and VR/360 films that spark conversation and fuel social impact. Reelworld is a juried festival and presents awards and prizes to Canadian Filmmakers. We are proud of our longstanding tradition of recognizing and spotlighting Canadian talent. Each year, we award one outstanding person the Visionary award for lifetime achievement and award the Trailblazer Award to 6 rising stars in the entertainment industry.


Now in our 19th year, we have launched the careers of 1000s of media artists. In addition to showcasing powerful stories, we offer targeted panels, lectures and workshops which deepen the artistic practice of BIPOC filmmakers and strengthen our artistic community and network.


Canada has a rich pool of talented BIPOC artists. We believe it is crucial for these artists to have the means to create authentic stories and for future generations to see varied and powerful representation in film and television and new media.



Reelworld is a registered Canadian charity: Charitable #873045611RR0001


Address: 20 Richmond St. E., Suite #600, Toronto, Ontario, M5C 2R9

Tel:  416-598-7933​.

Email:  you!


About Us










  • White Facebook Icon
  • White Instagram Icon
  • White Twitter Icon
  • White YouTube Icon