Four Toronto film festivals you might not know about

Your guide to the smaller fests taking over city screens this week

If you think Inside Out marked the end of Toronto’s spring film festival season last weekend, think again. No fewer than four more micro-festivals get rolling all over town this week, and we are here to help you find your way through the pack.


When: June 7 through Sunday (June 11).

Where: Various locations: the AGO’s Jackman Hall, Artscape Wychwood Barns on Christie and Cinecycle on Spadina. 

What to see: The 17th edition of aluCine is focused on Indigenous Latin film, turning its attention to cultures compromised or endangered by colonialism and globalization. There are plenty of short works, including two Saturday-afternoon programs for children at Artscape Wychwood Barns, but the highlight of this year’s lineup is Salomé Lamas’s Eldorado XXI (June 10, 9 pm, Jackman Hall). This feature documentary about the people who work in and around a massive mine high in the Peruvian Andes offers two hours of total immersion in other people’s lives. If you liked Leviathan or Manakamana, you won’t want to miss it.


Hillsborough at Canadian Sport Film Fest.


When: Friday (June 9) through Sunday (June 11). 

Where: TIFF Bell Lightbox, its usual habitat.

What to see: The CSFF has grown more ambitious over its nine years, and the 2017 lineup packs a lot of quality programming into three days of screenings. Daniel Gordon’s documentary Hillsborough (June 10, 6:30 pm) revisits the 1989 football stadium disaster in the UK in grim, painful detail, using the recent Warrington inquest as a fulcrum to debunk myths about unruly behaviour and public safety. Deborah Riley Draper’s Olympic Pride, American Prejudice (June 11, 5 pm) looks at the African-American athletes who went to the 1936 Olympics in Berlin – 18 in all, including Jesse Owens – and what their trip meant to people back home. 


Indivisible at ItalianContemporary Film Fest.


When: Thursday (June 8) through June 16. 

Where: TIFF Bell Lightbox, with additional screenings at Cineplex Cinemas Vaughan.

What to see: The ICFF usually focuses on commercial Italian cinema, and there’s plenty of that in the 2017 edition, including the recovery romance 7 Giorni (June 11, 6:45 pm) and the conjoined-twin drama Indivisible (June 12, 6:45 pm), which debuted at TIFF last fall. But this year there’s also From Bello To Beautiful: The Art And Impact Of Italian-Canadian Cinema, a Canada 150 program with everything from free screenings of Vincenzo Natali’s Cube (June 13, 4 pm) and Paul Tana’s La Sarrasine (June 14, 9:15 pm) to the world premiere of Frank D’Angelo’s latest effort, The Neighborhood (June 15, 6:45 pm). 


Survival Family at Toronto Japanese Film Fest.


When: Thursday (June 8) through June 28.

Where: Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre on Garamond Court, just northeast of Don Mills and Eglinton. It’s a schlep, but it’s worth it.

What to see: The TJFF offers a wide selection of contemporary Japanese cinema, like the historical epic Fueled: The Man They Called Pirate (June 8, 7:30 pm) and the generational melodrama Her Love Boils Bathwater (June 13, 7 pm). Highlights this year include Shinobu Yaguchi’s Survival Family (June 20, 7 pm), a bone-dry comedy about an average family trying to keep it together in the face of a nationwide power outage, and Sunao Katabuchi’s In This Corner Of The World (June 27, 7 pm), an animated drama about a young woman coping with life during wartime. There’s also a screening of Hideaki Anno’s ingenious, genuinely subversive Shin Godzilla (June 18, 2 pm) that’ll be fun with a crowd.

Brand Voices

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

NOW Magazine