2019 Featured Films

Reelworld film festival is proud to announce that, for the very first time, 100% of our 2019 festival films are created by Canadian BIPOC filmmakers

This year our programme is 100% Canadian. With a renewed focus on Canadian filmmakers, the theme for our 2019 festival is Home. With all of our films this year, you’ll see stories about people that are forging new homes for themselves or struggling to correct the complex relationships within their families. Some of these households have incredibly dark problems to deal with and some remind you just how important home can be to the life and success of someone. These are stories about finding a home in community, in culture, and in people. There is anxiety, joy, and revelation in these homes and you’ll find characters that are running away from it or running to it.

- Ammar Keshodia, Lead Programmer | Reelworld Film Festival

Thank you to our hard working and gifted programming team, the artists, and all those in our industry who have fought for and believed in the value of authentic representation and opportunity for all.

The Incredible 25th year of Mitzi bearclaw
Directed by Shelley Niro

Opening Night Gala Film

October 17th I  5:30 PM  I  Reception - Glenn Gould Studio

October 17th I  7:00 PM  I  Screening - Glenn Gould Studio

When she’s forced to return to her home reserve, Mitzi has to abandon her urban life and put dreams of being a fashion designer on hold. At first resentful of her sick mother and overdramatic father, she soon finds the quirks of her family growing on her. The Incredible 25th Year of Mitzi Bearclaw is a comedic, but grounded look at life on an Indigenous Reserve with a story that ultimately reverberates as a universal tale of familial responsibility.

The Spirit Within
Directed by Gil Cardinal & Wil Campbell

Reelworld Retrospective

October 19th   I  11 AM   I  Canada Square

In a trend that’s worsened over the last decade, Indigenous people are overrepresented in Canada’s prison system and it’s a pattern that shows no signs of slowing down. We take a look back at Gil Cardinal and Wil Campbell’s 1990 documentary on Native spirituality programmes that helped Indigenous men get in touch with their roots and avoid the revolving door that would see them back in prison after release. Join us for this special retrospective screening, followed by a panel discussion. 

Because We Are Girls
Directed by Baljit Sangra

October 19th   I   2 PM   I   Famous Players Canada Square Cinemas

After decades of silence, Three sisters from a conservative South Asian family reveal that they were sexually abused by an older relative. Because We Are Girls gives no oxygen to the abuser or his crimes, instead focusing on the healing process for the victims and their struggle to discuss this issue within their family and community. 

Farewell Regent
Directed by Christene Browne

October 19th   I   5 PM   I   Famous Players Canada Square Cinemas

In a documentary that charts the complex canvas of Regent Park, Christene Browne puts a human face on the unique tensions and fellowships of the country’s most infamous social housing project. Farewell Regent eschews the storied violence of the community to focus on the activism and resilience that has always been in the DNA of its people. 

The Pot and the Oak
Directed by Kiarash Anvari

October 19th   I  8 PM   I   Famous Players Canada Square Cinemas

In a searing indictment of male ego, Kiarash Anvari announces himself as a new Iranian-Canadian voice with this dark satire about a failing playwright whose life begins to collapse when he learns he’s sterile. In keeping with Iran’s great cinematic tradition, Anvari toys with the boundary between fiction and reality as his bitter protagonist stumbles toward a deliciously dark conclusion. 

Directed by Sami Mermer & Hind Benchekroun

October 20th  I   1:30 PM   I   Famous Players Canada Square Cinemas

A small village in Turkish Anatolia slowly becomes a ghost town as families move abroad, leaving behind a group of dedicated women who keep things running, in a rare document of the hidden consequences of migration. These women are the life of the film as they work the livestock together and make bread to feed their families while joking about their absent husbands.

Becoming Labrador
Directed by Rohan Fernando, Tamara Segura & Justin Simms

Closing Night Film | Canada Square Cinemas

October 20th   I   4:30 PM  I   Reception

October 20th   I   6:00 PM  I   Awards Presentation & Screening

A whole generation of Filipino men & women have travelled halfway across the world to work in Labrador, leaving behind families and friends as they struggle to adjust to a remarkably different climate and culture in Canada. The 12-hour time difference doesn’t help them keep in touch with the people back home in this emotional portrait of three families trying to make a better future for themselves. 

Reelworld Film Festival
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