Reelworld in Media

Over the years, Reelworld Film Festival has attracted the attention of countless media outlets.

Scroll down to explore Reelworld in Media.


The Opening Night Gala and Reception on Thursday, October 17 was held at the Glenn Gould Studio in the CBC Building, Toronto. Special guests included The Honourable Elizabeth Dowdeswell, Lieutenant Governor of Ontario. Film director Shelley Niro a member of Six Nations Reserve, Turtle Clan, Bay of Quinte Mohawk. And Canadian actor Billy Merasty...

Filipino TV | Docudrama based on Filipino immigrants screened at Reelworld Film Festival

First thing’s first, this is not your typical immigrant or OFW story. Becoming Labrador will definitely hit the hearts of the people who’s only wish is to be reunited with their families. Who would’ve thought that there’ll be a small Filipino community in Goose-Bay? A humble little town in the province of Labrador.

The MUFF Society | Reelworld Film Festival 2019

“We also have a hand in creating a new and more realistic vision on what being a woman is (and it’s not about being pretty arm candy for men to ogle). We need more female characters that are smart — not pretty and smart, but just plain old smart.”

HBE Online Magazine | Tonya Williams | Los Angeles & Toronto | Strong Values!!

I love, love, love, love stories - I was that two year old that needed a bedtime story every night. I started to read when I was three because I wanted to get more stories. My mother would leave me at the library when she did errands. The library was my haven - I loved books and then I found television, and was obsessed, I still am...

CTV | Tonya Williams talks the Reelworld Film Festival

Reelworld Film Festival Returns

Annual Toronto festival puts the spotlight on racially diverse Canadian filmmakers. | Tonya Williams on the 19th Reelworld Film Festival

We catch up with the founder, executive & artistic director of the annual Reelworld Film Festival as she presents an all-Canadian lineup for the first time. | Tonya Williams Marks 19 Years Celebrating Black Stories On Screen At Reelworld Film Festival

Since 2001, the Reelworld Film Festival has been showcasing and connecting BIPOC (Black Indigenous People Of Colour) filmmakers as an antidote to the lack of diversity and representation in the film industry.

Founded by actress, producer, and director, Tonya Williams, the festival has been an incubator and champion of diverse filmmakers before the #OscarsSoWhite movement was a part of the cultural lexicon. 

CANINDIA | Baljit Sangra turns her lens to sexual abuse

'Because We Are Girls’ chronicles how 3 sisters who were sexually abused by a relative struggle to discuss it within their conservative Sikh family and community. Part of the Reelworld Film Festival, the documentary will be screened on Saturday at the Famous Players Canada Square Cinemas in Toronto. 


For the very first time, Reelworld Film Festival is also proud to announce that 100% of its 2019 festival films are created by Canadian BIPOC Flmmakers. 

Toronto, ON – Now in its 19th year, Canada’s leading racially diverse film festival, the Reelworld Film Festival is back once again this October 2019 putting a spotlight on BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Colour) content creators and allowing those diverse communities to claim their own stories and bring their unique perspectives to the table. ..

CBC | The Incredible 25th Year of Mitzi Bearclaw: New film takes a comedic look at life on an Indigenous reserve

Director and famed Indigenous artist Shelley Niro says tragedies on Indigenous reserves drove her to create her latest comedy film, The Incredible 25th Year of Mitzi Bearclaw. "There are so many suicides of children on those reserves. I often think, what can we do?" says Niro. "As an artist, I have no solutions, but this is something creative that can bring some joy into the lives of people. Its my contribution."

Breakfast Television | Farewell Regent at Reelworld Film Festival

‘Farewell Regent’ documentary is part of the Reel World Film Festival
The 'Farewell Regent' documentary screens this Saturday which highlights the voices and experiences of members of the community.

Scene Creek | Review: Farewell Regent

Farewell Regent shares a moving, emotional story of community evolution – a local history with lessons for all.

Toronto filmmaker Christene Browne’s Farewell Regent explores the storied history of Regent Park, Canada’s oldest social housing project, through its residents both old and new, as the community grapples with the revitalization project determined to transform Regent into a mixed-income community.

Ron Fanfare | Regent Park revitalization inspires documentary

“Young people have been put in harm’s way by being relocated to rival communities and some of the social housing units that the city was mandated to replace were built outside the community,” she said. “The low-income residents feel like there’s an orchestrated attempt to get rid of them and those who remain feel as if they are being segregated from the new condo owners. This goes as far as the colour coding of the doors – brown for rent-geared-to-income units and blue for condos.”

Share | Documentary on Regent Park debuts at Reelworld

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Toronto Life | To do in Toronto this week

Stories from the reel-world
Now in its 19th year, the Reelworld Film Festival programs big-screen works by Canadian BIPOC filmmakers. This year’s theme, “Home,” sees directors focus on the nuances of navigating community and culture. Keep an eye out for Farewell Regent...

Worldwide Entertainment TV | TONYA WILLIAMS TALKS

Tonya Williams is an established Hollywood actress who has received Emmy and NAACP awards for her work in the entertainment industry. She recently spoke with WorldWide Entertainment TV in Toronto about founding the Reelworld Film Festival.  She speaks on various topics from the history of black people’s portrayal on television to Tyler Perry’s monumental movie studios in Atlanta.

Rudy Blair | Interview w Event Founder Tonya Williams on the 19th Annual Reelworld Film Festival

Rudy Blair Entertainment Media speaks with the founder of Reelworld Film Festival , Tonya Williams about why this festival is important for the industry , some of the changes this year on film content , free Industry panels, and what movie fans can expect to see including the opening film , The Incredible 25th Year of Mitzi Bearclaw, ...

KULTUR’D on AM 640 | Actor Sandy Sidhu and ReelWorld Film Festival Founder Tonya Williams.

This isn’t your usual pop culture show. From film & television, art, music to fashion and beauty,  kultur’D  uses pop culture as the gateway to larger themes that affect us all, with an emphasis on diversity of people and thought. 

Now Magazine | The best weekend events in Toronto: October 18-20

Reelworld Film Festival

For the first time, 100 per cent of the festival's programming is created by Canadian BIPOC filmmakers, whose works explore the nuances of "home."

October 17-21. Various venues. $12-$20, festival passes $50-$90, some free events.

Now Magazine | The best film festivals happening in Toronto in October 2019

How many film festivals can one city fit into a month? Here is a guide to those jockeying for your attention. 

Reelworld Film Festival: When: October 17-21, Where: This year’s festival kicks off at CBC’s Glenn Gould Studio (250 Front West), then moves the rest of its screenings to Canada Square (2200 Yonge) ...

Close Up Culture | Tonya Williams Previews The 2019 Reelworld Film Festival

Tonya Williams is the fearless founder of the Reelworld Film Festival, a festival that puts a spotlight on Canadian BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People Of Colour) filmmakers and allows those diverse communities to bring their own unique perspectives to the table. Close-up Culture’s James Prestridge spoke to Williams about this year’s festival (17-21 October) and promoting inclusivity in the Canadian entertainment industry.

Desi Today | Annual Reelworld Film Festival returns this October

Founded by award-winning actress Tonya Williams, the annual Reelworld Film Festival returns this October 17th – 21st, celebrating its 19th year continuing to open doors for racially diverse Canadian filmmakers and media artists from all across the country.

BlogTO | "There's a New Movie About Toronto's Regent Park Neighbourhood"

"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," ... Browne, who grew up in Regent Park, is the first Black woman to direct and write a dramatic feature film in Canada. For the first time, the festival has announced that 100 per cent of its festival films were created by Canadian BIPOC filmmakers.

Now Magazine | 43°North is not waiting around for Canadian film to meet equity goals | Jun 25, 2019

Now they’re days away from going into production on their first narrative film, This Place, funded by Telefilm’s Talent to Watch Program and the Reelworld E20 program. This Place is the story of two young women, one Tamil, the other of Iranian and Mohawk descent, who meet at a Toronto laundromat late one night. 

Huffington Post | "The Ugly Face Of Racism Still Exists In Canada,' Says Former Y&R Star | Mar 1, 2019

​"When I started Reelworld, almost all the white reporters harassed me with the same question — 'Why did I think this was so relevant?' They didn't understand why a festival like Reelworld was needed — they didn't think we had a racial problem in the entertainment industry in Canada. They thought I was just exaggerating the issues on this subject," said Williams. 

Huffington Post | Will This Diversity 'Moment' In Film And TV Last? Canadians Of Colour Weigh In | Jan 9, 2019

Tonya Williams, best known as Dr. Olivia Barber Winters on "The Young and the Restless," who now runs ReelWorld Film Festival, an annual film festival in Toronto that features talent from ethnically diverse communities, recognizes that changes takes time.

Now Magazine | October film festivals just keep on rolling through town | Oct 10, 2018

"My intention was to make a film that wasn’t statistical, but sensual", says 'When the Storm Fades' director, Sean Devlin. "I think facts help us know, but emotional empathy is how we understand. I wanted audiences to understand what it means to live on the front lines of climate change.”

Muslim Link | Interview with Shazia Javed: '3 seconds Divorce' Showcases Indian Women's Movement Against 'Triple Talaq' | Oct 9, 2018

3 Seconds Divorce reveals the impact of this instant-oral divorce on Muslim women and takes us behind the scenes of the revolutionary movement led by Muslim women in India. 

Words with Michelle | Interview with Reelworld Founder, Executive and Artistic Director Tonya Williams and Reelworld's Filmmakers: Inspiring Change through Film | Oct 7, 2018

"Yes, we want to screen these films, but we want that filmmaker to have an experience," says Tonya Williams. "We want their career to move forward – we don’t just want them to screen a film – we set up meetings for them, they get an opportunity to meet mentors in the industry."