Home News October Film Festivals 2022

October Film Festivals 2022

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Empty Cinema Seats, image,
Empty cinema seats at the Ted Rogers Hot Docs Cinema. Photo by Ralph Lucas for Northernstars.ca

October Film Festivals 2022
by Ralph Lucas – Publisher

(October 3, 2022 – Toronto, ON) We are in the last quarter of the year and the next two months are two of the busiest when it comes to film festivals. There are a handful of festivals in December, but a larger event later that month seems to take precedence.

The Edmonton and Calgary film festivals wrapped over the weekend and were at the tail end of festivals that started in September. Not counting them, there are 17 Canadian festivals in October and those are just the ones we know about. Some of the largest and more important festivals happen this month, including the Vancouver International which continues until October 9 and the FNC (Festival du Nouveau Cinéma) which opens this week and continues until the 16th in Montréal. Our Québec Correspondent Maurie Alioff will report on the FNC this month.

October Film Festivals 2022, image,

The Reel World Film Festival opens in Toronto on October 12th with Golden Delicious. This year the festival will be both in-person and online. There are 34 Canadian films on the schedule, including documentaries, family dramas and innovative sci-fi stories. Directed by Canadian filmmakers who are Black, Indigenous, Asian, South Asian, and People of Colour, its an important focus and a festival that reflects the real world through its reel world. The short synopsis for the 120 minute feature Golden Delicious (pictured above) states “When basketball-obsessed Aleks moves in across the street, Asian-Canadian teen Jake finds himself trying out for the basketball team in an effort to get Aleks’ attention in this classic coming-of-age drama set in the digital age.”

Reel Pride opens in Winnipeg on the 13th with a Short Film Competition. Two features will screen each night on the 13th, 14th and 15th.

Planet in Focus Festival also opens on the 13th in Toronto. With the most clear signs of catastrophic climate change still impacting parts of our eastern Maritime provinces and much of Florida thanks to two separate hurricanes, this festival is timely to say the least. A Canadian doc from director Rita Leistner opens the festival. Titled Forest for the Trees, it explores “the physical and emotional aspects of a community of Canadian west coast tree planters. The synopsis goes on to state, “the planters describe for the camera how the work has helped them overcome a myriad of personal issues ranging from addiction and mental illness to self-doubt, heartbreak and grief. Finding common cause, self-knowledge and meaning in their formidable task, the tree planters restore themselves and each other in the process of restoring the environment.” This is the 22nd annual Planet in Focus festival.

I Like Movies, image,

Concerned about the impact of Hurricane Fiona, we contacted the St. John’s International Women’s Film Festival to ask if there were any changes to their schedule and learned the festival will go ahead as planned. The in-person and online festival kicks off on October 19 and runs until the 23rd. Founded in 1989, this year’s festival opens with Chandler Levak’s I Love Movies (pictured above).

This is what our film correspondent Thom Ernst said about the film when it screened at TIFF 2022: “Levak’s movie is much more than its title. There is little to no navel-gazing happening in I Love Movies. The film is a funny and kind story of an unlikeable outsider (who I happened to like) who forms an unexpected friendship with his older, more thoughtful, and emotional superior boss at a local video store. Levak resists romanticizing toxic behaviour while allowing her character—played wonderfully in what I hope is a break-out performance for Isaiah Lehtinen—to be awful and yet still able to win the audience’s favour. Insight is the friend of all good directors, and Levak has more than her share. Tickets and festival passes are now on sale.

Whetū Mārama - Bright Star, image,



While all festivals large or small have an important role to play in the promotion of the craft and art of filmmaking, some festivals are more important than others. One of those is the imangineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival. Known as the world’s largest presenter of Indigenous screen content, this year’s festival opens with a Welcome Gathering on the afternoon of the 18th and an Opening Night Party later in the evening. The festival gets underway on the 19th with a screening of Whetū Mārama – Bright Star The 90-minute doc is about how the canoe underpins Māori culture. The synopsis states, “We once built waka/canoes from giant trees and sailed the vast Pacific by the stars. These arts were lost to us for 600 years. Then the stars re-aligned and three men from far flung islands met by chance to revive our place as the greatest navigators on the planet, a Hawaiian, a Micronesian and Hek Busby, “The Chief” from Aotearoa/New Zealand. This screening is in-person only at the TIFF Bell Lightbox 3 at 6:00 p.m. Box office info is online now.

Smaller, more narrowly-focused festivals in October include the Toronto Motorcycle Film Festival, the Toronto Food Film Festival, the Toronto Art House Film Festival, the Devour! The Food Film Fest in Wolfville, Nova Scotia and the Banff Centre Mountain Film and Book Festival in Banff, Alberta.

Click here for links to these and other October Film Festivals.

Don’t see your festival listed? Send your details to news@northernstars.ca

Northernstars logo imageRalph 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.