film festivals toronto

16 film festivals to check out this fall in Toronto

Film festivals abound this fall in Toronto, and there's something for every taste. If you completely missed out on TIFF this year, fear not! These movie marathons have everything you want in a festival, but without the crazy ticket prices, intense lineups and questionable quality. Take your pick from pretty much any genre you're in the mood for, get a popcorn with double butter, and enjoy.

Here's a roundup of film festivals to check out this fall in Toronto.

Brazilian Film and TV Festival (October 13-16)
Admission is free to this film and TV festival at the Carlton Cinema. Check out this trailer about the festival as a whole, and then go see some of the featured films. Chatô, o Rei do Brasil screens on opening night and looks very promising.

Reelworld Film Festival (October 12-16)
Watch docs and narratives exploring everything from the refugee crisis to climate change and civil rights at this activist-inspired film festival at The Harbourfront Centre. Reelworld opens with Shadow World, which looks at the billion dollar international arms trade and hosts a party at Steam Whistle afterwards.

Toronto After Dark Film Festival (October 13-21)
Just in time for this spooky time of year, the Scotiabank Theatre is transformed into a house of horror, sci-fi, action and cult films for the annual Toronto After Dark Flim Fest. Big name films like Mel Gibson's Blood Father, and Ethan Hawke's In The Valley of Violence make their debut. In fact here are dozens of Canadian and North American premieres at this fest.

Cine Iran Festival (October 14-16)
This is an annual festival of contemporary Iranian cinema at the TIFF Bell Lightbox. Showcasing all types of film genres, screenings often sell out so make sure to get your tickets in advance. Sound & Fury by buzz worthy director Hooman Seyyedi opens the fest.

Planet in Focus environmental film festival (October 18-23)
This is an entire festival dedicated to artistic films that question, explore, and tell stories about our planet. In addition to the film fest, and all the other interesting programming at various venues around the city, the organization gives out an Eco Heroes award, and this year David Suzuki and Alexandra Cousteau are the recipients.

ImagineNative Film Festival (October 19-23)
ImagineNative is celebrating 17 years of promoting Indigenous culture and is internationally recognized for their excellent programming. Angry Inuk is the opening film about the seal hunt. The fest boasts 96 films representing 72 different Indigenous nations and the majority of the films are screening at the TIFF Bell Lightbox.

Buffer Festival (October 20-23)
This is an annual showcase of YouTube video premieres from some of your favourite online personalities and whole bunch of up and coming talent. There are countless events, talks and seminars, concerts and galas happening around the films, which are playing Saturday and Sunday at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre and the St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts.

Diaspora Film Festival (November 3-7)
This three-day fest will include works from both established and emerging filmmakers that focus on migration, immigration, and cultural diversity. Screenings happen at Carlton Cinema and the film schedule is released later this month. Last year's fest featured Mohsen Makhmalbaf's The President, to give you a taste.

Syria Film Festival (November 4-6)
The second annual Syria Film Fest features stories of Syrian refugees and their attempts to find safety and a new life in various corners of the world, including films from Canada, Jordan, Turkey, Germany, and South Africa. It takes place at the Isabel Bader Theatre and Jackman Hall at the AGO.

Toronto Polish Film Festival (November 7-12)
The Revue Cinema on Roncesvalles aptly hosts this film festival now in its 8th year. The schedule hasn't been released yet, but keep an eye on their website for upcoming details. Let's just pray they'll be screening Córki Dancingu.

Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival (November 8-19)
Canada's largest festival of contemporary Asian Cinema not only showcasese great films, but special projects featuring prominent artists, musicians, up-and-coming filmmakers and also includes an Industry Series for creative minds to connect. Screenings mostly happen at the TIFF Lightbox and films will be announced October 11.

Toronto International Short Film Festival (November 9-11)
From film veterans to students, this short film fest has it all. Taking place at the TIFF Lightbox, the three day fest showcases everything from dramas, documentaries and animation to experimental and comedies. Check out their Facebook page to see what last year looked like and stay tuned for full programming announcements.

European Union Film Festival (November 10-24)
The Royal Cinema hosts this great big film festival which puts a spotlight on films from the EU. The variety is astounding and the quality typically very high. The schedule hasn't been released yet but you can watch the trailer below to get an idea of what to expect.

Pomegranate Film Festival (November 17-20)
Toronto is amazing. This film festival is a unique community event celebrating Armenian inspired film. With films at various venues in the city, this one also boasts it's own award show and parties. Check out the schedule on their official site and snatch your ticket to the gala screening of 3 Weeks In Yerevan.

Regent Park Film Festival (November 23-26)
This is the city's only free community film festival, run by and for the the people of Regent Park. The 14th annual film schedule will be released October 19th and all films play at Daniel's Spectrum. Expect to see "local and international independent works relevant to people from all walks of life, with a focus on low income and public housing communities."

Blood in the Snow Film Festival (November 24-27)
Ushering in the bleak, early days of winter, this festival plays contemporary Canadian horror, and underground cinema. Films will screen at Cineplex Cinemas at Yonge-Dundas and includes features, shorts and seminars with filmmakers. They also have an awards show called The Bloodies. Stay tuned for the schedule announcement.

Did I miss a film festival you're excited about this fall? Let us know in the comments!

Lead still from Blood Father.


Join the conversation Load comments

Latest in Film

Drive-in movie theatres in and around Toronto

A giant red dome has just popped up in Toronto

Here are all the free movies at Yonge & Dundas this summer

Free outdoor movies in Toronto for summer 2017

The Open Roof Festival is coming back to Toronto

There's free outdoor movies in Regent Park this summer

Free outdoor movies in the Beaches this summer

Bob and Doug Mackenzie are reuniting for Toronto show