Rider and the Wolf – News Update


June 17, 2016

Breaking news: The Grand River Film Festival screened THE RIDER & THE WOLF in 2015. The film told the story of Mike Rust, the Mountain Bike Hall of Fame cyclist who disappeared without a trace in Colorado. As of festival time, Mike’s disappearance was a cold case with little hope. However, in early January, an anonymous tip prompted by a film screening, led the local authorities to a spot on private land just a few miles from Mike’s house. There, five feet down, they found a body and officially identified the remains as those of Mike Rust just last week. The mystery of Mike’s disappearance has switched from a missing person case to a homicide case. Follow for developments and join the Rust family as they fight for Justice for Mike Rust. The power of film! – by Director Nathan Ward

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Call for Board Members


May 2, 2016

The Grand River Film Festival is looking for leaders in the Waterloo Region to join the Board of Directors and talented individuals to contribute to the ongoing planning of the festival. If you’re interested in sharing your skills in communications, sales, fundraising or volunteer management, contact Kim Elworthy at for more information.

 We’re looking for volunteers with experience:

  • Event Planning

  • Volunteer Managing

  • Arts Programming

  • Grant Writing

  • Fundraising and soliciting sponsorships

  • Leading within an arts organization

  • Working within a team

  • Managing multiple tasks within a short timeline

  • Reporting to senior leaders, board or committee chairs on a monthly basis

  • Using Google docs, correspondence writing, note taking etc.

  • Learning quickly and adapting to emerging trends and technologies

  • Passionate about Waterloo Region, Arts and Film


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Waterloo Record Reader Awards


April 30, 2016

We’ve been nominated! This year (alongside some truly awesome festivals) GRFF has been nominated for a Waterloo Region Record Reader Award for Favourite Festival/Community Event. You probably already know about us: we’re not in it for accolades and awards, BUT it sure is nice to be nominated!

As valued film fans we would sincerely appreciate – if you want to show us a little love – if you could click ‘Nominate’ beside our festival name HERE.

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Congratulations to Tim Hutchison


April 30, 2016

Congratulations to our Board member and DP Tim Hutchison on his Canadian Screen Award nomination! Best Photography in a Documentary Program or Factual Series, The Secret Science of the Dog Park

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Canadian National Film Day


April 30, 2016

GRFF Executive Director Tamara Louks and HURT director Alan Zweigat the post-screening Q&A. Photo credit: Brian Duggan
Thank you to Idea Exchange and those who joined us at our first National Canadian Film Day screening! We were honoured to partner with Idea Exchange and invite award-winning director Alan Zweig and his film HURT to Cambridge. It was a powerful film exploring the life of Canadian hero Steve Fonyo, who ran coast to coast raising $13 million for cancer research, was named to the Order of Canada and then spent the next 30 years in a downward spiral. Through the film and the post-screening Q&A, we spent a year with Steve and witnessed how the run impacted his life.
This year for National Canadian Film Day, Canadians from coast to coast to coast celebrated films made by your fellow Canucks at 415 events, in 217 communities, in every province and territory across the country! We even created a Twitter moment when #CanFilmDay trended on Twitter, reaching 20 million users! National Canadian Film Day is an initiative of REEL CANADA, a non-profit organization that brings Canadian films to high school students, new Canadians, and Indigenous communities across the country throughout the year. Supporting Canadian film isn’t just a one-day thing, so make sure to watch great Canadian films year-round!

TIFF POSTERAcclaimed documentary filmmaker Alan Zweig (When Jews Were Funny) profiles one-time Canadian national hero Steve Fonyo, who raised millions of dollars for cancer research with his 1984-85 coast-to-coast run and was subsequently disgraced by numerous troubles with the law. Winner of the Platform Prize, TIFF. Rated 14A.

Three decades ago, Steve Fonyo, an 18-year-old who’d lost a leg to cancer, became both a national hero and the youngest recipient of the Order of Canada when he ran across the country to raise funds for research. His life since has been no fairy tale. Substance abuse, jail time, and the government’s decision to strip him of his Order of Canada left Fonyo publicly disgraced and forgotten. (The only attendee at an anniversary celebration of his epochal run was the cop who busted him.) Yet he soldiers on, eventually giving us glimpses of the teenager who had the perseverance to complete such a feat back in 1985. Though Fonyo’s story is transfixing, it is director Alan Zweig’s empathy and wit that lift this documentary to the level of contemporary classics like . Zweig shows us a Canada seldom seen onscreen — and rarely with such impact. – Steve Gravestock, TIFF

For more information about National Canadian Film Day, visit

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2017 Festival Films

HomePage, NewsletterMay2016, NewsletterSummer2016

March 30, 2016

She Started It – October 25

2016, USA, Documentary, 84 Minutes Director: Nora Poggi, Insiyah Saeed Starring: Christine Herron SHE STARTED IT gives a new face to the popular image of the tech entrepreneur: a female face. Following five women over two years as they pitch VCs, build teams, bring products to market, fail and start again, ...
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Geek Girls – October 26

2017, Canada, Documentary, 83 Minutes Director: Gina Hara Starring: Anita Sengupta, Stephanie Harvey GEEK GIRLS reveals the hidden half of nerd culture; a world of cute dresses, professional gamers, fake names and death threats. In the first feature-length documentary about ‘geeky’ women, filmmaker Gina Hara goes on a journey to ...
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Lost In Paris – October 26

2017, France, Comedy, 83 Minutes Directors: Dominique Abel, Fiona Gordon Starring: Fiona Gordon, Dominique Abel, Emmanuelle Riva Filmed in Dominique Abel and Fiona Gordon’s signature whimsical style, LOST IN PARIS stars the filmmakers as a small-town Canadian librarian and a strangely seductive, oddly egotistical vagabond. When Fiona’s (Gordon) orderly life ...
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Reengineering Sam – October 27

2016, USA,Documentary, 82 Minutes Director: Brian Malone Starring: Sam Schmidt Sam Schmidt lived out his boyhood dream as an IndyCar racer, winning races and earning the title of IndyCar "Rookie of the Year" along the way. That dream came to an abrupt end when Sam crashed into a wall at ...
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Integral Man – October 28

2016, Canada,Documentary, 62 Minutes Director: Joseph Clement Starring: Jim Stewart After Euclid, Toronto’s Jim Stewart is the most published mathematician in the world. Stewart spent a decade and a small fortune building the home of his dreams to reflect his two obsessions: curves and music. The completed home, called Integral ...
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Lucky – October 28

2017, USA, Drama, 88 Minutes Director: John Carroll Lynch Starring: Harry Dean Stanton, David Lynch LUCKY follows the spiritual journey of a 90-year old atheist and the quirky characters that inhabit his off the map desert town. Having outlived and out smoked all of his contemporaries, the fiercely independent Lucky ...
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Riverhead – October 28

2016, Canada, Crime/Drama, 90 Minutes Director: Justin Oakey Starring: Lawrence Barry, Stephen Lush, Des Walsh A blood feud divides a small town in rural Newfoundland. As winter creeps toward his rural Newfoundland community, local widower and workhorse Patrick Whelan finds himself at odds with a violent young man returning home from a ...
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