Commffest celebrates its upcoming 19th-year as Toronto’s leading cultural showcase of edutainment cinema whose dedication and passion have fueled the festival's success over the years September 19 -24,. presented in movie theaters, exhibition spaces, and online.
COMMFFEST a charitable corporation takes place mainly in the historical neighbourhood of Old Town Toronto once home to the first Parliament buildings, the current St Lawrence hall where world leaders like W.E Dubois, Marcus Garvey Sir John A Macdonald held meetings that impacted the world.
Commffest is more than a film festival; The emphasis on mixing and mingling over food, drink, and music enhances the overall experience for filmmakers and attendees. This inclusive approach to filmmakers and audiences, reflects a commitment to fostering meaningful dialogue and positive change showcasing our complexed world, navigating through life’s ordeals in communities, family dynamics, environmental concerns, poverty, human rights, LGBTQ, women's rights, and third-world struggles.
The festival has successfully built a platform for bringing together communities, non-profit organizations, and global leaders in panel discussions. This engagement has often resulted in increased funding and support for the highlighted causes and groups.
Our screenplay competitions are spearheaded by Vladimir Bondarenko, a filmmaker, writer, director, and producer with 35 years of experience. His role as an instructor at various film Schools adds a valuable educational perspective.
Behzad Sedghi Filmmaker
For me, COMMFFEST has been where my films have finally reached their maturity by connecting through the big screen with their audience. It is this connection that is essential for any artistic endeavour. As this may be the case with most other festivals, however, in my direct experience with COMMFFEST I clearly felt that each artist was given special attention, a chance to have a dialogue about their creation and ultimately was embraced in a celebration of their achievement. COMMFFEST founders and organizers are filled with the love of films and arts and clearly possess the vision and generosity to make this celebration happen every year. I look forward to being part of the next celebration either as an artist or a member of its community.
Commffest was founded on the principal of empowering communities by identifying their struggles and similarities using film as a global connectivity.
Since 2005 Commffest has enlightened and showcased amazing heartwarming stories that educated inspired while entertained. We have witnessed organizations come together from different parts of the world as one cause. Filmmakers have travelled from as Far as South Africa, the Caribbean the US England and Ireland to present their work and dialogue with our audiences.
Our audiences in turn have expressed their joy and their appreciation championing our filmmakers for the dedication and courage to make their film. But the one thing we did not anticipate was the impact Commffest stories has had on schools and the youth. By giving them free access to Commffest programming these young minds were able to see a world not always available through the traditional education system become empowered at the thought that they too can change the world and make a difference. So we continue with our work as along as even one person is enlightened, because at the end of the day people matter and they want their voices to be heard.
COMMFFEST mission statement:
To advance education by raising the cultural, artistic and aesthetic expression of communities and to advance the public’s appreciation of the arts through related artistic workshops and panel discussions, while promoting the works of filmmakers and artists alike.
The programming: The films are chosen by a jury of professionals from a globally solicited call for submissions. Once chosen, the programming is created to generate discussion around specific world events and themes, provoking dialogue and acceptance of others and their concerns.
The COMMFFEST AWARDS: Best Film and Honourable Mention are the two categories for the MADA (Making a Difference) Awards. The MADA goes to filmmakers whose work champions’ social good and community enrichment. Whether young or old, seasoned or just beginning, cinematic storytellers are welcomed into COMMFFEST with opportunities to engage and inspire audiences.
More about COMMFFEST
COMMFFEST attracts educators, artists, politicians, business leaders, socially conscious organizations and trendsetters.
Local Educational engagement:
Cast of when Hope breaks Through Above
Kristyn Wong Tam MADA Award recipient(below)