Midsummer Festival Update
by Ralph Lucas – Publisher
(July 14, 2021 – Toronto, ON) Here we are in the middle of July, a quiet month for festival news compared to September, but there’s enough going on between now and TIFF to warrant a look. You can click here for a link to the July 2021 film festivals mentioned below.
First up, one of the smaller festivals, Ryerson University Film Festival kicks off on Friday and is over by Monday. For 24 years the Ryerson University Film Festival (RUFF) has been the launching off point for some of Canada’s most promising young filmmakers. This year’s festival will feature 16 thesis films from the Ryerson University School of Image Arts’ graduating class.
Also starting on Friday, audiences across Canada can enjoy a weekend of free short films thanks to a new summer screening program, Films Where You’re At. Presented by the St. John’s International Women’s Film Festival and running from July 16 to 18, they will offer up 13 short films crafted in Newfoundland and Labrador.Viewer discretion is advised and there’s more information online.
The irrepressible Vincenzo Guzzo, President and CEO of Cinémas Guzzo, who we interviewed a few weeks ago will be honoured this weekend. He is the 2021 recipient of the Italian Contemporary Film Festival (ICFF) Award of Excellence. The award will be presented at the Closing Night Gala and Awards Ceremony of this year’s Lavazza Drive-In Film Festival, co-organized with Toronto’s CHIN Radio/TV and in partnership with Ontario Place, on Saturday, July 17, at Ontario Place.
For the second year in a row, imagineNATIVE will partner with the City of Toronto for DriveInTO to bring a night of free film programming at Ontario Place! Starting Tuesday, July 27, at 9:30 PM, imagineNATIVE will screen Darlene Naponse’s Falls Around Her, starring Tantoo Cardinal. Falls Around Her was the opening gala film at the 2018 imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival where it won the Air Canada Audience Choice Award. Click here for more info.
For our loyal readers in Manitoba, the Gimli Film Festival continues until the 25th and there is still plenty to see. Find the link on our July Film Festivals page.
August is only a couple of weeks away and one of the great Canadian film festivals opens in Montreal early in the month. Fantasia launches on August 5. Our Québec correspondent Maurie Alioff will have more on Fantasia later this month.
The smattering of Canadian film festivals in the summer months explodes come September when we have 12 Canadian festivals listed and we’re sure there are more. The cheeky Toronto Independent Film Festival (TIFF) and the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) both kick off on September 9 in Toronto and run until the 18th. TIFF, the International one, already has its digital component lined up and ticket packages are available now. Anyone anywhere in Canada with an Internet connection can access those films. With the relaxing of many of the COVID-19 rules, there will be some in-theatre screenings following all of the safety guidelines.
The Toronto Indie claims their festival is for “truly independent films, and a headline event for micro-budget and no-budget films in North America.” This showcase of as yet undiscovered filmmakers will screen at the Carleton Cinema, known for its support of indie filmmakers.
A quick rundown of some of those other festivals include the Montreal Stop Motion Film Festival, FIN Atlantic Film Festival, Cinéfest Sudbury, Toronto Palestine Film Festival, the Montréal International Black Film Festival, the Ottawa International Animation Festival and the Calgary and Vancouver International film festivals. We’ll have more details on those and other festivals as we move closer to September, but you can click here for more information about these and other September 2021 film festivals.
If we missed your festival and you would like a free listing on Northernstars, simply email us.
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.