Corteon Moore

Actor launches movie festival that aims to be unlike anything Toronto has seen before

For Toronto-based actor Corteon Moore, finding a space for young filmmakers isn't easy in the city, even though we're surrounded by both large and small film festivals such as TIFF and Hot Docs.

Growing up in Winnipeg, Moore often got together for movie nights with his friends and family. After he got into acting, Moore started getting even more into watching films but was having difficutly trying to figure out how to translate that passion into a tangible thing.

That's when he decided to create Marmalade, a new Toronto film series screening films at the Paradise Theatre made by both international and local filmmakers.

toronto film screening

The Winnipeg-born actor is venturing into a new world of film fesitvals making room for young emerging filmmakers.

The film series is named after the marmalade sandwich, the food of choice of one of his favourite characters, Paddington Bear.

Marmalade's aim is to provide a space for young BIPOC emerging filmmakers and videographers whether that be through an art piece or short film. 

"The goal is to create a space for filmmakers and film lovers alike to have dialogue and experience film together," said Moore. "Especially with an emphasis on young filmmakers."

The format of the film series is also a bit different.

The first screening on Feb. 11 is the 2002 Oscar-nominated film City of God. It will be accompanied by short, 30 to 60 second films made by local filmmakers and animators.

"Some of these [creators] are going to be coming and seeing ther work on the big screen for the first time," said Moore. "Next to them is someone who has never heard of their work, and they're going to affected by that."

Throughout our conversation, Moore consistently touched on the importance of local community and the connections people can make through film, much like what he experienced in his childhood back in Winnipeg.

"Our goal is just to bring community into film without any sort of prerequisites or any experience within film," said Moore. "It's such an international and expansive multifaceted art form, it shouldn't be treated as something that is just for [cinefiles]."

Moore says his decision to screen City of God wasn't accidental.

"It shows you this place that is designed to go against you and watching all these different beautifully complex real people face adversity, choosing love, life, violence, hate," said Moore.

Moore told me that in many ways, Toronto is a place where people don't always feel represented and struggle in regards to identity and feeling seen. 

"It's a really great opportunity to say 'this movie kind of represents [what I'm feeling] in a less dramatic way thankfully," said Moore. "But it's a sign of I'm not the only in Toronto that feels like this."

toronto film screening

Moore's project is only just getting started, with the hopes to expand into a traveling film festival and show more Toronto screenings later this year.

Tickets for a screening at Marmalade start at $20 which can be purchased in advance with a limited number available at the door.

The film series will continue with a second installment later this year, and Moore eventually hopes to make it a traveling festival.

Lead photo by

Fareen Karim

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