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About

Founded by Tonya Williams in 2000, the Reelworld Film Festival (non-profit) and Reelworld Screen Institute (charity) are groundbreaking initiatives in Canada that draw attention to the lack of racially diverse and indigenous talent in mainstream media - both in front of and behind the screen.

Reelworld is the largest national platform dedicated to changing the face of the media landscape by empowering and showcasing Canadians identifying as Black, Indigenous, Asian, South Asian, Middle Eastern, and Latin American talent in the screen-based industries.

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In 2000 I launched an initiative in Toronto that was new and bold - Reelworld Film Festival. A year later, Reelworld Foundation (now called Reelworld Screen Institute) followed. These initiatives had one single focus - to literally change the face of the industry. Reelworld became a training ground for curators/programmers, arts administrators, grants writers, theatre managers, publicists and more. Giving opportunity to filmmakers was just part of our mission. We wanted to make sure that everything we did would impact racially diverse professionals on every level of this industry.

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Tonya Williams

Founder & Executive Director of Reelworld Screen Institute

Our Vision

We empower racially diverse Canadians to create and tell their own stories and see themselves reflected on and off-screen.

We are creating real and systemic change by positioning ourselves as the leading resource for this underserved talent across Canada and the industry.

Our mission is to empower racially diverse Canadian filmmakers, content creators, and all talent in front of and behind the screen. We exist to create access and advocate for them. We showcase, give opportunity to, and provide professional development to Black, Indigenous, Asian, South Asian, Middle Eastern, and Latin American talent and their work. We are an inclusive community that nurtures racially diverse artists. We create the platform and means for this talent to tell their own stories, with authentic voices and true creative control. We accomplish this through the Reelworld Film Festival and Reelworld Screen Institute.

Our Mission

Our Values

We support storytelling that portrays non-stereotypical images of racially diverse peoples, for current and future generations. Our values are to build, improve and strengthen this rich talent pool. To create community, conversation and collaboration for Black, Indigenous, Asian, South Asian, Middle Eastern and Latin American artists. To connect Canadian Black, Indigenous, Asian, South Asian, Middle Eastern and Latin American talent to the nation and the world. To honour and celebrate them. To teach that racial diversity and cultural diversity are not the same thing. And to work towards creating a level playing field.

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Reelworld offered me an opportunity to learn from industry professionals who generously shared their knowledge and experience. I was able to meet talented and dynamic artists, each with their own individual strengths and perspectives, that helped me gain a better understanding of how to approach the collaborative art of filmmaking and writing. The feedback and support that was offered throughout the E20 program, and the pitching workshops helped prepare me with a skillset that I will use throughout my career.

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Seth Mohan

Actor, Producer, Writer

Contact Us

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