A comedy special

The COVID-19 pandemic cut the world off from experiencing live comedy, but laughter prevailed. We followed comedians and comedy club owners across the country and saw how the pandemic didn't stop comedy, it reinvented it.

The world shut itself down in 2020. As cities, states and entire countries reacted to the COVID-19 pandemic, restaurants, bars and other small businesses were forced to shutter their doors. Among the industries cut off from the world was live entertainment – and for comedians, comedy producers and comedy venues specifically, that posed a challenge.

The Ranking File

The Rankin File: Legacy of a Radical Teresa Alfeld director John Bolton Producer Canada 1.30m

A documentary investigation into the colorful and sometimes controversial life of Vancouver lawyer, city councilor and socialist icon Harry Rankin.

Talk on mental illness and racism in youth

Talk on mental illness and racism in youth

An evening of open conversation sponsored by Commffest that looks to explore racism and how it impacts mental health.

Rosemary Sadlier (Moderator) Rosemary Sadlier, she/her, is an author, consultant and the unpaid past president, for 22 years, of the Ontario Black History Society, and, under her trailblazing leadership (building on the efforts of ancestors and elders), achieved numerous public commemorations related to the African Canadian community including February as Black History Month, and most recently, August 1st as Emancipation Day to affirm and honour our long-term and continuing contribution to Canada.

Jason Kandankery Moderator) Jason Kandankery, he/him, is a Principal with the Toronto District School Board who worked in Regent Park over the last 10 years and is now working in Scarborough. He is passionate about working in under-served communities and how we can work to ensure schools are sites of liberation and possibility for all students. Jason believes schools must work in partnership with the communities we serve by putting anti-oppression at the centre of our actions.

Simone Donaldson (Panel Presenter) Simone Donaldson is the founder,Clinical Social Worker, and principal consultant at Agapé Lens Consulting and Therapy. She has devoted almost 15 years to racialized communities and mental health. Simone provides individual psychotherapy for Black youth and adults, and consults with organizations to bridge the gap between equity and wellness concerns, with a specialization in Anti-Black racism. Simones’ purpose is to support all her clients to see sustainable change, while guiding them patiently and safely towards authenticity, so they may heal, thrive, and live out their purpose .

Dr. Ghadah Almahr (Panel Presenter) MD, Consulting Hypnotist, life and health coach, certified in applied positive psychology, Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP), and Ayurveda lifestyle. Founder of Heaven Smile Center in Toronto, a wellness center, focusing on integrative health, mind-body connection, and empowering the community to have optimum physical and mental health. She has offered several workshops in the field of wellness and life balance

Sunlight Around Us

Sunlight Around the Corner: The Golden Sparrow, is an experimental narrative short film inspired by the lives of the front-line community health workers, battling inequitable conditions long before COVID-19. These women work in some of the most economically and racially marginalized neighborhoods in the United States, in Richmond, Virginia.

The film was conceptualized to personify these stories and activated by several art forms. Using the interpretive movements by the Cuban dancer Daylin Martinez, she embodied the struggles, pains, joys and triumphs of those women just by listening to their words, before any music was composed. The deep rich voice of the Canadian Nigerian singer Yetunde Ajasin narrates their stories. The music amplifies the dialogue in between these elements, combining sounds and rhythms of the African Diaspora such as Yoruba, Palo Monte, Blues and the ethnic-mysterious Arara.

MTI

MTI  MAURICIO CORCO 18'  SPANISH CHILE
Mti (29), an Haitian immigrant, after years of saving money during his stay in Chile decides to return with his wife and daughter in Haiti. However, his plans will be truncated by the unexpected theft of his money.

Hearts of Steel

Canada Director Gayle Wilmot 21.m

Hearts of Steel is a fun, inspiring, compelling documentary film that follows a group of Toronto teenagers as they prepare and practice rigorously for a musical competition for steel bands. Along the way they learn leadership, commitment, trust, multi-cultural respect and the value of belonging to a musical family. The film captures their hard work, emotional stress and unbridled joy as they move toward the finish line. .

First week out

Directed by Charles Fritschner USA 20.52m

Larry Williams spent the last 42 years in prison. We follow his first week of freedom.
In 1979, Larry Williams entered prison and was released 42 years later.

FIRST WEEK OUT is a short documentary (21 minutes) that follows Larry’s pivotal first week of freedom. Follow Larry in his first week out as he tries to make sense of his past, navigates life in a re-entry home, reunites with an old prison friend, applies for a job, meets with a new mentor, and forges a path forward.

We are visible

The Ehlers-Danlos syndromes are a group of rare connective tissue disorders that can affect every part of the body. And EDS is an invisible illness, just like many other chronic conditions. People living with EDS may be severely disabled, but people around them can’t see their disability, which leads to a common misconception: How can you be sick and disabled if you look perfectly fine? ’We Are Visible’ will show seven stories including people of all ages (5 – 60 years old), from six different countries with diverse backgrounds, different financial standing who are all differently affected by this invisible condition. They will share their challenges, fights, and fears, but also their achievements, hopes, and triumphs.