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2007 04 12
ReelWorld Film Festival

Running from today until April 15th, the 7th annual ReelWorld Film Festival showcases interesting and unusual shorts, short narratives, animation and feature length films from across the world. Along with bigger festivals such as Hot Docs and Inside Out, ReelWorld allows us to see films from such disparate places as Senegal, Japan, Austria and Israel all in one place.

Happily, Toronto is far from underrepresented. There are 6 great films from Toronto about issues such as poverty, community violence, and diversity conflicts. Please note that all the below film descriptions are directly from the ReelWorld site.

A Winter Tale – 100 min.
Sat, April 14th, 2007, 4:00 pm

Rainbow Cinemas Market Square
Screens with The Unspoken Promise (4 min.)

Frances-Anne Solomon's A Winter Tale is a disturbingly accurate and timely portrayal of the gun violence plaguing the black community in Toronto. Adapted from the critically acclaimed screenplay and shot on location in a Caribbean area of Parkdale, the story begins with gunshots ringing out into the night. But somehow the bullet's intended target (a drug dealer) is missed, and instead the bullet claims the life of a nine-year-old boy. At times funny and hopeful, at times gritty and tragic, the poignant story of A Winter Tale will leave you feeling inspired that change in the face of adversity is possible and it can begin with one person.

Finding My Way – 52 min.
Sun, April 15th, 2007, 1:30 pm

Rainbow Cinemas Market Square
Screens with: First Stories: Walking Alone (7 min.)

Ten years ago the provincial government in Ontario lowered welfare rates by about 20 percent. Today the 760,000 Ontario residents who rely on this financial assistance can’t make ends meet – and yet the province refuses to address the issue in any meaningful way. Director Charles Kassatly’s Finding My Way is a powerful feature-length documentary that cracks open the shrouded disconnect around poverty and homelessness in Toronto. It focuses on the Anishawabe Mission and Health Centre, a grassroots native organization that actively fights homelessness in Toronto through its street patrol vans and outreach programs. The documentary deals with their destitution, faith and hope as it also shows the dysfunction permeating social programs across Canada, especially in the Greater Toronto Area. It also focuses on the legislation that would help the homeless off the streets by providing them with affordable housing.

Shooting For Change – 51 min.
Sat, April 14th, 2007, 12:00 pm

Rainbow Cinemas Market Square
Screens with: Hear The Story (28 min.) – description below

In the documentary Shooting for Change filmmaker Lalita Krishna captures the world of Toronto’s Regent Park in a way the local news stations that gripe about the area’s crime and violence simply can’t. Shooting for Change captures the work of community leader, Adonis, who runs a program called Focus. Focus is a unique project that uses film and the power of media to help at risk youth redefine themselves and their place in the world. Krishna has a unique gift of mixing education and social awareness in all of her documentary work, and this film is no exception. With a deft touch, she pulls out stories that not only need to be told but in some cases need to be treated with the utmost sensitivity.

Hear The Story – 28 min.
Sat, April 14th, 2007, 12:00 pm

Rainbow Cinemas Market Square
Screens with: Shooting For Change (51 min.) – description above

Hear the Story provides a glimpse inside the lives and experiences of GTA youth. Brought together by the Youth Documentary Training Project, 10 individuals use the camera to witness their day-to-day lives, as they struggle against challenges such as unemployment and racism. Under the guidance of filmmaker Alison Duke, the youth participants created this open and honest film, serving as both subject and creators.

Across the Hall – 17 min.
Sat, April 14th, 2007, 10:00 am

Rainbow Cinemas Market Square
Screens with: 3 short animated films (total of 41 min.)

In a snapshot of an immigrant family in Toronto, a Chilean father has a hard time dealing with diverse cultures while his kids try hard to just fit in. When his sons adopt the local custom of going trick-or-treating in their apartment complex, he must confront his prejudices against their cross-dressing neighbour or risk his children’s even greater defiance.

Interview With a Hobo – 7 min.
Thu, April 12th, 2007, 1:30 pm

Rainbow Cinemas Market Square
Screens with: 10 shorts (total of 104 min.)

Thomas Lo’s Interview With A Hobo presents candid interviews with a young man, living on the streets of Toronto, who is searching for a way out of poverty. This film is a poignant examination – at times harrowing, at times humorous – of a search for strength and understanding.

Image from the Reelworld Site.
[email this story] Posted by Liza Badaloo on 04/12 at 12:26 AM

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