Lights, camera, action! Canada’s film festival season is in full swing, and we’re excited to bring you the latest updates on cinematic events and screenings happening across the country. From the glitz and glamour of red-carpet premieres to intimate indie showcases, there’s something for every movie lover to enjoy.
From Toronto’s iconic TIFF (Toronto International Film Festival) to CIFF (Calgary International Film Festival), we’ll explore the diverse range of programming and experiences that each festival has to offer. So, grab your popcorn and settle in as we bring you all the latest updates on Canada’s cinematic events and screenings.
Hot Docs, Canada’s largest documentary festival, celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2023 with a bang! This 11-day festival took place from April 27 to May 7 and showcased more than 200 documentaries from all over the world, covering a diverse range of subjects and genres.
However, Hot Docs is more than just a festival; it’s a vibrant community that nurtures documentary filmmakers and promotes documentary culture. Alongside its screenings, Hot Docs offered a range of programs and events, including the Hot Docs Podcast Festival, the Curious Minds Speaker Series, the Big Ideas by Scotia Wealth Management, and the 30th Anniversary Events.
The festival also provided grants, training, pitch opportunities, and networking for documentary projects at all stages through its industry programs. Furthermore, Hot Docs reached out to students and teachers across Canada through its Docs for Schools program, offering free screenings and educational resources.
BANFF Media Festival
Experience a world of boundless creativity and innovation at the BANFF Media Festival, Sun, Jun 11, 2023 – Wed, Jun 14, 2023, an annual event that draws over 2,000 delegates from across Canada and around the globe. Producers, broadcasters, distributors, creators, talent, and executives gather to learn and network, showcasing the latest trends and innovations in content creation and distribution. The festival is also a hotbed for discovering new talent and projects.
The Rockie Awards and Content Innovation Awards recognize excellence in TV, digital media, and content creation, while initiatives such as the BANFF Spark Accelerator for Women and the Diversity of Voices Initiative support emerging and underrepresented voices in the industry. The BANFF Media Festival is a community of passionate media creators who are advancing their careers and pushing the boundaries of storytelling.
Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF)
Get ready for the glitz and glamour of the 48th Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), taking place September 7-17, 2023. This annual extravaganza is a gathering place for movie buffs, filmmakers, industry insiders, and celebrities from around the world. The festival will showcase a selection of the most anticipated films from various genres and countries, providing a platform for the discovery and celebration of new and established talent.
TIFF offers a range of programs and events for film lovers, including curated packages, tribute awards, and special presentations. Film enthusiasts can avail themselves of the opportunity to rub shoulders with fellow cinephiles and industry professionals, attend panel discussions, and meet filmmakers. TIFF has also simplified ticket pricing for regular and premium screenings, with prices that include all taxes and fees.
Fantasia International Film Festival
The Fantasia International Film Festival will be held from July 20- August 9, 2023. It is a legendary three-week extravaganza of global fantastic cinema taking place each July in the heart of Montreal. An event that showcases the most exciting, innovative, and individual examples of contemporary international genre cinema from all corners of the globe.
Cinefest Sudbury International Film Festival
Sudbury, Ontario, Canada is abuzz with excitement as the highly anticipated Cinefest Sudbury International Film Festival brings the big screen to its streets! The nine-day festival is known for its exceptional accessibility to both festival-goers and industry leaders, earning it the nickname “The People’s Festival” The Cinefest Sudbury International Film Festival’s top-notch film program promises an unforgettable experience for everyone from passionate cinephiles to casual movie-goers.
Mark your calendars for September 16-24, 2023, as this year’s Cinefest Sudbury International Film Festival promises to be one of the Canadian film industry’s premier events. With 35,000 attendees each year, the festival offers the opportunity to see the best of the best, from both established and emerging filmmakers.
Calgary International Film Festival (CIFF)
Get ready to be wowed by the Calgary International Film Festival (CIFF), the largest film festival in Alberta and the sixth-largest in Canada! Nestled in one of North America’s top 10 cities for moviemakers, CIFF is a spectacle not to be missed. With over $40,000 in cash and prizes, the festival recognizes exceptional films chosen by its audience and esteemed juries.
The festival showcases a variety of films, including feature-length and short multi-genre films from Canada and around the world. And if that’s not enough, CIFF is also a qualifying, accredited festival for the Academy Awards® and the Canadian Screen Awards.
But it’s not just the films that make CIFF stand out. The festival’s hospitality has earned it a place on MovieMaker Magazine’s list of “Top 50 Film Festivals Worth the Entry Fee” multiple times, including 2016, 2017, 2019, 2020, and 2022.
Mark your calendars for CIFF 2023, taking place from September 21 to October 1, and don’t miss your chance to submit your film. The festival offers a range of juried awards, including the $10,000 CAD RBC Emerging Canadian Artist award for the best first or second narrative feature film by a Canadian director. Plus, the $2,500 CAD Grand Jury Prize for Short Film qualifies the winner for consideration in the appropriate category of the Academy Awards.
Festival du Nouveau Cinéma de Montréal
This lively and innovative festival has been showcasing auteur cinema for over 50 years, with a focus on new creators, new approaches, and new technologies.
From short films to feature films and new media artworks, the FNC celebrates diversity and originality from emerging and major filmmakers worldwide. As the dean of Canadian film festivals and a major Quebec event, the FNC is a must-attend for any cinephile seeking the best of today’s cinema.
Victoria Film Festival
The Victoria Film Festival is a highly anticipated event for movie enthusiasts in Canada, showcasing some of the finest independent films from around the world with a particular emphasis on emerging talent and local creators.
The 2023 edition was a massive triumph, featuring over 100 films screened at various venues throughout the city. The festival highlights included the opening gala film and dinner, the Springboard industry event, In Conversation with Paul Schrader, and the Bringing Films to Life art exhibition. Winners were also announced in a range of categories, including Best Canadian Feature, Best Documentary, Best Short Film, and the coveted Audience Choice Award.
Screenings Across Canada
The Canadian Screen Awards winners for 2023 have been announced by The Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television. The ceremony was held over four days, with “Brother” and “The Porter” leading the pack with the most victories. “Brother” won 12 of its 13 nominations in the film categories, including Best Motion Picture, Best Director, and Best Adapted Screenplay. The movie, based on David Chariandy’s novel, follows the story of two brothers of Caribbean descent as they navigate Toronto’s hip-hop scene during the 1990s.
Meanwhile, “The Porter” won 12 out of 19 nominations in the TV categories, including Best Drama Series, Best Writing, and Best Costume Design. The show is based on the experience of Black train porters in 1920s Montreal. Other notable winners included “Sort Of,” “Canada’s Drag Race,” “Departures,” and “We’re All Gonna Die (Even Jay Baruchel).” The Canadian Screen Awards broadcast show was held at Meridian Hall in Toronto from April 11–14, with Samantha Bee hosting the event.
As we conclude our coverage of the latest film festivals and screenings across Canada, we can’t help but feel excited about the future of cinema in this country. From the prestigious and thrilling Victoria Film Festival to the recently concluded Canadian Screen Awards, it’s clear that the Canadian film industry is thriving and producing outstanding work.
With the announcement of more festivals and screenings, we eagerly anticipate the incredible stories and talents that will be showcased. Whether you’re a cinephile or simply seeking a great night out, be sure to keep an eye out for these upcoming events – you never know what cinematic treasures you might discover!