The Regent Park Film Festival is Toronto’s only free-of-charge multi-cultural community film festival, dedicated to showcasing local and international independent works relevant to inner-city communities across Toronto.  The Festival aims to reach isolated communities throughout Regent Park and beyond, providing a forum for people from all walks of life to engage in critical dialogue on social issues and to enjoy films from all over the world.

The Festival started in 2003 through the efforts of a determined group of community residents and volunteers. Their goal was to bring Regent Park residents access to high quality films that resonate with their experiences. Today, as Regent Park undergoes a fifteen-year redevelopment, the Festival also works to bring together the many diverse communities that exist in the neighbourhood to enjoy and engage with film as a means of artistic expression and a catalyst for change.

“Situated in a redeveloping community, this year’s festival explores all the different ways we think about home, said Ananya Ohri, Executive Director of the Festival. “We are veryproud of this year’s program which showcases stories that resonate with people across Toronto who love film and see it as a tool to build community.”

Hosted by the multi-talented Corey Bowles, the Regent Park Film Festival will kick off with the RBC EMERGING DIRECTORS’ SPOTLIGHT & PITCH EVENT on November 18th at 7:30PM. The evening will begin with a conversation with Clé Bennet (Actor), Min Sook Lee (Director), Dawn Wilkinson (Director/Screenwriter) and Sharon Lewis (Director/Actor). The esteemed panel will discuss getting their starts in the film industry, followed by a presentation of some of the best emerging Canadian talent. Four directors, aged 26 and under, will screen their short films and pitch their future projects to a panel of celebrity guests and compete for a cash prize. These films explore the complexities of immigrant life, colourism, and the fables of slavery.

This year the Festival is showing PASSING and MARGARITA WITH A STRAW, two films exploring the lives of trans individuals as they reflect on personal narratives of gender

Passing - Poster Art

identity and performativity. These films debunk gender norms and binaries through individual experiences of growth and acceptance. The struggle of gender, race and ability intersecting in our contemporary society and the LGBT community at large are examined. PASSING was directed by J. Mitchell Reed and Toronto based Lucah Rosenberg. The award winning Shonali Bose directed MARGARITA WITH A STRAW.

Margarita With A Straw - Poster Art

Both films were featured in this year’s Inside Out LGBT Film Festival in May. MARGARITA WITH A STRAW will be shown on Friday, November 20, at 8:30 p.m. PASSING, which won Best Documentary Short at the Seattle Translations LGBT Film festival, will screen Saturday, November 21, at 2:30 p.m. with the director in attendance.

Watch the trailer clips for PASSING and MARGARITA WITH A STRAW.

Regent Park Film Festival – Schedule TwitterFacebook

About the Author

Bryen Dunn is a freelance journalist with a focus on travel, lifestyle, entertainment and hospitality. He has an extensive portfolio of celebrity interviews with musicians, actors and other public personalities. He enjoys discovering delicious eats, tasting spirited treats, and being mesmerized by musical beats.