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Press release Sept 2018

18th Reelworld Film Festival announces its 2018 lineup with 75 per cent Canadian Content

Canadian filmmakers include Kim O'Bomsawin, Sean Devlin, Xiaodan He, Shazia Javed, Leon Lee, Gillian McKercher, Lenin M. Sivam

TORONTO (Tuesday October 2, 2018) – The Reelworld Film Festival unveils its full lineup for 2018 program.  These social impact films from racially diverse filmmakers, touch on important issues ranging from Climate Change, Human Rights, Transgender issues, Women's Rights, Globalization, Racism and Indigenous Rights.

“The festival grows stronger each year, because we’re programming films that speak to the cultural struggles of our communities," says Founder, Executive & Artistic Director Tonya Williams. “Since the festival’s inception in 2001, the quality and maturity in our programming improves each year.  Our racially diverse filmmakers are not afraid to delve into difficult issues and show us the raw emotions of these complex topics.”

The 18th Reelworld Film Festival runs from October 9 to 14, 2018.

Opening Gala (Glenn Gould Studio)

Roobha – Lenin M. Sivam | Canada | Toronto Premiere

Roobha weaves a unique romantic tale that deals with the complexities of personality and gender identity within the South-Asian community.

Closing Night Film  (Famous Players Canada Square Cinemas)

Circle of Steel – Gillian McKercher | Canada | Toronto Premiere

This gripping narrative feature follows Wendy Fong as the 2015 Alberta oil and gas crisis threatens to undermine her entire future.

Additional features include:

When the Storm Fades – Sean Devlin | Canada |  Toronto Premiere

A genre defying docu-dramedy starring a real Filipino family re-enacting their daily struggle to recover from the strongest storm in recorded history - 2013’s Typhoon Haiyan.

3 Seconds Divorce – Shazia Javed | Canada | North-America Premiere

Divorce! Uttered three times and it’s legal and final under Sharia Law. Shot verite style, we follow Lubna’s journey from disenfranchised single mother to empowered social activist.

Un Printemps D'Ailleurs (A Touch of Spring) – Xiaodan He  | Canada | Toronto Premiere

A portrait of Montreal Chinese life in all its contemporary glory and existential complexity, with some skillful performances providing a comic touch.

Ce Silence qui Tue (A Quiet Killing) – Kim O'Bomsawin | Canada | Toronto Premiere

Unrelenting and absolutely necessary, this documentary showcases first-hand accounts of previously silenced women and men who testify to a troubling reality and cry out from the heart to break the silence that kills Indigenous women.

Letter from Masanjia –  Leon Lee | Canada

A powerfully suspenseful documentary about individual determination that rivals any dramatic narrative feature. The film reveals the true cost of whistleblowing against the Chinese government.

Other features include:

Drowning in Sands – Lucy Provan | Sudan | Canada Premiere

In Sudan, sand is the ultimate destroyer. It leaves behind a wasteland where nothing can grow and no one can live. Two Sudanese inventors try to stop the desert from swallowing their country, persevering past terrorist sanctions, and executing agricultural robotics.

The Color of Medicine – Joyce Fitzpatrick  | USA | Canada Premiere

Homer G. Phillips Hospital was an all black hospital that galvanized an African American community. This poignant and insightful film tracks the black migration story and commemorates the medical professionals that pioneered the American black middle class in St. Louis.

19-S The Earth Shouts – Adriana Delgado Ruiz | Mexico | Canada Premiere
A fast-paced documentary with an incredible assemblage of news and private video footage depicting cities rocked by the 2017 Mexican earthquakes. Planet earth isn't always a safe home for humans. But, were the deaths of hundreds of people inevitable?


Short Film Program:

This year's short films include Protect our Future Daughters – Maryanne Junta and Helena Lewis | Canada, Protecting our Homeland – Ashton Janvier | Canada, Night – Joosje Duk | USA | Canada Premiere, Good Girls Don't  – Ana de Lara | Canada | Ontario Premiere, Turning Tables –  Crisann Hessing | Canada, Every Grain of Rice –  Carol Nguyen | Canada, Boys of Nunavut – Andrew Maguire | Canada | Canada Premiere, JAP – Derek Pike | USA | Canada Premiere, Easter –  Chih Chieh Wu | Taiwan | Canada Premiere, Mad Rush – Heejun Lee | Korea, Nothing on Us –  Evelyn Obamos | USA | World Premiere, and Rebel Lion –  Graeme Mathieson | Canada | World Premiere


ACTRA Shorts Program:

Reelworld Film Festival will continue to highlight emerging talent by featuring six short films from members of ACTRA's Young Emerging Actors Assembly (YEAA Titles): All the Things | Ayisha Issa, Everbliss | Celine Tsai, Maternal | Andrew Simpson, Strawweight | Lindsay Murray, The Drip! | Sofia Simanovich, and Club Six | Anthony J. Baldwin.

Free Industry Panels held at Toronto Reference Library Oct. 12 - 1:00-5:00 PM:

The Leap by Directors Guild of Canada; Telefilm Case Study on Roobha, The Showrunners by Writers Guild of Canada: Funding Your Project with TAC, OAC, OMDC and Inspirit Foundation.

About Reelworld

Founded in 2001 by actress and advocate, Tonya Williams, Reelworld Film Festival is a non-profit organization. Our mission is to increase access, opportunities and professional development for primarily Canadian Indigenous and racially diverse filmmakers who focus on stories with social impact. Reelworld empowers artists of all levels with Industry Panels, Professional Development opportunities, and Incubator Initiatives.


For additional information or to set up interview requests with Tonya Williams or any of our filmmakers, please contact

Reelworld is a registered Canadian charity: Charitable #873045611RR0001


Address: 50 Carroll Street, Suite 106, Toronto, Ontario, M4M 3G3.

Tel:  416-598-7933​.

Email:  you!

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