June Film Festivals – A Look Ahead
by Ralph Lucas – Publisher
(May 25, 2023 – Toronto, ON) Next month is just a few days away and we reach the middle of 2023. With the nicer weather the attraction is the great outdoors, but there’s still plenty to see indoors and there are 12 Canadian film festivals that we know of in June. Before we get there, two special mentions here at the end of May. The Inside Out Toronto LGBT Film Festival actually starts today and runs until June 4th.
Also starting and ending this month is the 3rd Calgary Black Film Festival. It runs May 26 to May 29 and opens with the stunning 1960 from directors King Shaft and Michael Mutombo. The short synopsis: When the remains of an apartheid-era policeman are discovered 60 years after he went missing, a retired singer revisits her past to help with the investigation. But how much does she know, and what is she holding back?
In June we have festivals running from coast to coast starting with St. John’s in the east, the Blue Mountains in Ontario, the Rocky Mountains of Banff Alberta and the easy to see mountains as a backdrop behind Vancouver.
We list four festivals that start on June 1, including The Blue Mountain, Vancouver Greek, Outaouais and the 31st Toronto Jewish Film Festival (TJFF)>
The TJFF opens with the French film L’Homme de la Cave or The Man in the Basement. Directed by Philippe Le Guay, This nearly two hour suspenseful psychological thriller is set in Paris and comes at a time when there is an ugly and unwanted rise in antisemitism. The basic plot centres on Parisian couple Simon and Helene Sandberg. After they find a buyer for the basement in the apartment building they own, they discover that the man is not the benign former teacher he initially portrayed himself to be, but a Holocaust denier who propagates his lies on the internet. Director Philippe Le Guay will be in attendance for the opening night screening at the Ted Rogers Hot Docs Cinema.
Meanwhile in Gatineau, the Outaouais Film Festival gets underway on June 1 with the feature titled Argentina 1985 but their Opening Film screens on June 2. It’s Les femmes du square, and is also from France and is also set in Paris. It tells the story of Angèle, a thirty-something women from the Ivory Coast. To escape from a bunch of dangerous criminals, she becomes a nanny. Hired by Hélène, the single mom of eight years old Arthur. The action picks up when she discovers just how much of a drudge her job is and how many young women like herself have few if any rights. Angèle goes looking for a lawyer.
The Banff Television Festival is one of the premier industry events with a global reach and impact. More than 45 countries participate in the Festival and Rockie Awards. It is also an unparalleled international marketplace and one of the world’s largest gatherings bringing co-production and co-venture partners together. The Rockie Awards cover 27 categories and there are other honours including the Rogers’ Prize for Excellence in Canadian Content, the Emerging Talent Prize, and the Prix Francophone, which is awarded to the jury’s highest-scoring French-language video submission. This is the 44th year for this very special festival that runs from June 11 to June 14.
Closer to home, the Breakthroughs Film Festival in Toronto will run online from June 8-11th and in-person at the Paradise Theatre June 8 & 9th. This is the 12th annual Breakthroughs Film Festival.
The 10th annual Oakville Film Festival includes over 100 films, including 13 Canadian features and documentaries. The festival launches on Wednesday June 21st, which is National Indigenous People’s Day in Canada, with the Canadian Premiere of The Beehive, from Writer/Director Alexander Lasheras.
Apologies if we missed your festival. Your listing is free, just email us your information.
Ralph Lucas is the founder and publisher of Northernstars.ca. He began writing about film and reviewing movies while in radio in Montreal in the mid-1970s.