By Victoria Brown
The Community Film Festival goes from the screen to the streets as it takes action by not only showing global community films, but helping communities as well.
The Toronto festival will hold a conference on Monday with councillors Adam Vaughan of Trinity-Spadina and Shelley Carroll of Don Valley East, said Sandie de Freitas, founder and president of COMMFFEST.
“This will be the [conference’s] first year and we’ll build it into an annual event, and hopefully it grows to be a very big event,” said de Freitas.
The panel discussion will focus on community financing addressing Canada’s tax system that, FCB President Berry Vrbanovic said in the annual State of Canada’s Cities and Communities 2012 report, takes too much from communities and gives little back.
Michael Coren, producer and host of the nightly Michael Coren show on CTS will mediate.
“We typically use social issues that reflect communities locally and internationally,” said de Freitas. “So once we screen these films from throughout the world together you’ll see that we have a common bond.”
She added the whole point of the festival is to use film to educate people about themselves.
On Saturday the festival will also have a panel addressing community gun violence using the film ‘Faith in the Hood,’ said de Fiestas.
“This is one of the ways we try and help communities,” de Fiestas said. “It’s a platform to discuss social issues and bring our communities together.”
The festival will also be on the lookout for films in the running for the Making a Difference award. Norman Hart, vice-president of COMMFFEST, said a jury of six to seven people will select one film to receive the award, which will be announced Tuesday night.
“It’s the film that comes through the best, that makes the difference, the inspiring film, and the well filmed film,” said Hart.
COMMFFEST kicks off opening night on Market Street in Toronto, with outdoor screenings, and live performances by Blue Black Music. The festival runs from Friday, Sept.21 to Tuesday Sept. 25.
For more information visit www.commffest.com