CineSeries 20th Season Opening Night – THE CHILDREN ACT – Sept 20


October 20, 2018

When: Thursday, September 20, 7:30pm
Where: Galaxy Cinemas, Cambridge Centre
355 Hespeler Rd., Cambridge
See Map: Google Maps

UK, 2017, Drama, 105 minutes, English

Director: Richard Eyre

Principal Cast: Emma Thompson, Stanley Tucci, Fionn Whitehead

Adapted by Booker Prize-winning author Ian McEwan from his own novel, this riveting drama stars two-time Academy Award winner Emma Thompson as a British High Court judge tasked with making a decision that will speak to our most fraught questions regarding religious tolerance — and could mean life or death for an innocent young man. Judge Fiona Maye is married to her work, which has become a problem for her husband, Jack, who announces that he wants to have an affair. Treating the matter more as an annoyance than a life-altering crisis, Fiona kicks Jack out and focuses on her current case. The question: should a couple who are Jehovah’s Witnesses be permitted to deny a life-saving blood transfusion to their leukemia-stricken 17-year-old son. Fiona finds herself taking unusual measures to determine her verdict – measures that will have far-reaching consequences.

The Children Act brims with intelligence, sophistication, and intrigue. The elevated tension places unusual focus on its protagonist’s every word and gesture – a challenge Thompson meets with virtuosity. Her Fiona is a cauldron of conflicted feelings bubbling beneath a veneer of composure. As she finds herself sliding deeper into a mire of professional compromise and personal desperation, we come to empathize with her singular burden… and wait for the outcome with keen anticipation.

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Film Schedule


October 19, 2017

Wednesday, October 25, 7:00pm @ Shopify, Waterloo

Short Film: Final Exam Philippe Gosselin (Toronto), 9:00

Feature Film: She Started It 

2016, USA, Documentary, 84 Minutes Director: Nora Poggi, Insiyah Saeed


Thursday, October 26, 6:00pm @ THEMUSEUM, Kitchener (Doors open 6pm for exhibition tour, film screenings begin at 7pm)

Short Film: What About Shelley Kyle Reaume (Toronto) 13:16

Feature Film: Geek Girls

2017, Canada, Documentary, 83 Minutes Director: Gina Hara


Thursday, October 26, 7:30pm @ Galaxy Cinemas, Cambridge

Short Film: André the Anti-Giant Kim Saltarski (Toronto) 14:53

Feature Film: Lost In Paris

2017, France, Comedy, 83 Minutes Directors: Dominique Abel, Fiona Gordon


Friday, October 27, 7:00pm @ Tannery Event Centre, Communitech, Kitchener

Short Film: Sahil Salar Pashtoonyar (Toronto) 9:30

Feature Film: Reengineering Sam

2016, USA,Documentary, 82 Minutes Director: Brian Malone


Saturday, October 28, 1:00pm @University of Waterloo School of Architecture, Cambridge

Short Film: Happy Face Hill Samantha Chalmers (Cambridge) 11:11

Feature Film: Integral Man

2016, Canada,Documentary, 62 Minutes Director: Joseph Clement


Saturday, October 28, 3:00pm @University of Waterloo School of Architecture, Cambridge

Short Film: Drift Mike Gallant (Toronto) 7:46

Feature Film: Lucky

2017, USA, Drama, 88 Minutes Director: John Carroll Lynch


Saturday, October 28, 7:00pm @University of Waterloo School of Architecture, Cambridge

Short Film: Break Room  Andy Hourahine (Paris) 15:00

Feature Film: Riverhead

2016, Canada, Crime/Drama, 90 Minutes Director: Justin Oakey

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Festival Overview


October 6, 2017

2017 marks the 11th year for the Grand River Film Festival (GRFF). Already well established as a regional festival within Waterloo Region, GRFF has a number of new initiatives, seeking growth in audience demographics and becoming a notable film festival in Canada.

Celebrating and inspiring community through the shared experience of film, the Grand River Film Festival hosts an annual festival dedicated to bringing bold, reflective and inspiring films to Waterloo Region (Cambridge, Kitchener, Waterloo). Off­season film events are held in collaboration with other regional community partners. In 2017 we are facilitating a 4 day fest incorporating with a renewed focus on the strengths of our region.

GRFF programs local, Canadian and international films, pairing screenings with panels consisting of film directors, industry professionals, local interest groups and notable guest speakers. GRFF recognizes the power of film to connect people and is thrilled to act as a vehicle for the community to build relationships and host meaningful conversations within the Waterloo Region.

Notable past guests include Academy Award director Yojiro Takita and actress Susan Sarandon, Nobel Peace Prize nominee Dr. Izzeldin Abuelaish, Juno award winners Rita Chiarelli, Paul James and Sylvia Tyson, prima ballerina Veronica Tennant, award winning Canadian directors Sturla Gunnarson, Charles Wilkinson, Bruce McDonald, and many other directors, actors, writers and producers in the film industry.

GRFF strives to create a supportive environment for local filmmakers and artists, a place where mentorship and networking opportunities occur, and acts as a forum for their talents to be celebrated and showcased to the community. Workshops, lectures and trade shows provide professional development opportunities.

The Region is expanding at a fantastic rate and the creative community is vibrant. GRFF believes it is essential to give local artists a stage to showcase their work in the Region and be nurtured within the community. We are currently in the process of rebranding the festival to celebrate and focus on our next 10 years by engaging our creative talent by launching a competition to promote the artwork of local artists on our film posters and other visual content. These limited edition prints will be a cornerstone of the festival brand in 2017 and beyond.

GRFF is an incorporated not­for­profit and member of good standing with the Cambridge Chamber of Commerce, KW Volunteer Action Centre and Volunteer Cambridge. GRFF builds brand trust and loyalty across Waterloo Region through partnerships with local venues, organizations, academic institutions, the film community, events and other film festivals. Community partnerships are a dynamic way to increase outreach, remain relevant to our community’s needs and leverage shared resources. A short list of community partners includes Idea Exchange, THEMUSEUM, Apollo Cinema, UW School of Architecture, Ed Video Media Arts Centre, Wilfrid Laurier University Department of English and Film Studies, First Weekend Club, Hot Docs, Reel Canada and TIFF Film Circuit.


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Industry Day – Friday, October 27


October 6, 2017

11th Grand River Film Festival Industry Event

Friday October 27th, Communitech Kitchener

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1:00-1:15 – Welcome Address

Find a good seat and connect with your fellow attendees.


1:15-2:00 – Financing and Digital Marketing 101

The two topics go hand-in-hand when trying to produce a successful project. Where do you get the money to make content and how can you use social media to your advantage when trying to build your audience?

Confirmed Speakers:

Jason Butler, SubProdFirst Round Down

Karam Masri, Program Consultant, OMDC – Ontario Media Development Corporation

Michael Meredith, Senior Relationship Manager, Entertainment Division, RBC

Trinni Franke, Producer, Digital Media Manager, Willis Sweete Productions

Confirmed Moderator:

Samantha Clark, Public Relations Manager, Communitech


2:00-2:45 – Content Creation in KW

With the ever-evolving entertainment industry and tech integration the possibilities for content creators is endless. Hear from leaders in the media industry that hail from the Waterloo Region and how they incorporate the latest technologies into their projects.

Confirmed Speakers:

Timothy Muza, Commercial Photographer, Timothy Muza Photography + Films

Matt Hortobagyi, Video / Virtual Reality / Livestream Producer @ Astrodog Media

Allan Fernandes, Product Manager, Christie Digital Systems

Confirmed Moderator:

Jason Butler, SubProdFirst Round Down


2:45-3:00 – Break

Take a quick breather before jumping into the next session!


3:00-4:00 – Video Keynote: In Conversation with Colin McRae, Shopify Studios

Colin McRae, Head of Development at Shopify Studios has an extensive history working in Canadian media. Having started his career at MuchMusic and holding different positions within the (now) Bell Media Family, Colin spent time honing his skills next at the growing network The Score.

Heading into development positions at Pyramid Productions followed by VICE Media, his focus has predominantly been towards news within entertainment, sport and other doc style content. No stranger to different viewing platforms, Colin has been able to engage with viewers both on television and online, evolving with the Toronto media industry over the past 15 years during a time which crucial changes have occurred. Join us as we sit down with Colin to discuss his work, starting his own company Vapr Media and how evolving technologies have moulded his career.

Confirmed Speakers:

Colin McRae, Head of Development, Shopify Studios

 Confirmed Moderator:

Nabil Fahel, GRFF Board Member


4:00 – 5:00 – MCAP Shorts program

Join us as we screen our winning shorts from the MCAP SHORT Shorts Program thanks to our amazing sponsor, MCAP!

We will be presenting the Shorts Winners with their awards and celebrating the success of all our filmmakers.


5:00 – 6:00 – Reception

Network with your fellow attendees and celebrate the success of our multi-industry event!



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Board of Directors


October 1, 2017

Do you love media? Do you love technology? Think Waterloo Region is a fantastic place to live, work and play? The Grand River Film Festival is recruiting for strong leadership roles on the Board of Directors including treasurer, fundraising and sales. Contact  for more information

Are you looking for leadership opportunities in the Waterloo Region? Then the Grand River Film Festival is looking for you! We’re looking to add to our vibrant team of volunteers and board members. We’re looking for people with a passion for film, community and technology who can work together to take GRFF into the future! Contact for more information

WANTED: A passion for media, community and technology! The Grand River Film Festival is adding to its vibrant team of volunteers. If you’re experienced in, or looking for experience in volunteer coordinating, sales and fundraising, accounting we’d love to hear from you. Contact for more information

Do you love film? Do you love technology? Think Waterloo Region is a fantastic place to live, work and play? The Grand River Film Festival is recruiting for strong leadership roles on the Board of Directors including treasurer, fundraising and sales. Contact for more information

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September 19, 2017


Single tickets are your best option if you want to keep it simple or you just want to attend a few films at the festival. Plus with single tickets, you are guaranteed a seat until 10 minutes before show time. In order to ensure that seat is not in the front row, we encourage you to arrive well in advance of show time.


For those who want to experience all aspects of the festival from Opening Night festivities to the Closing Night screening including Industry Day! The ALL ACCESS PASS allows you to attend any public GRFF event during October 25 – 28, 2017. Passes offer guaranteed seating up to 20 minutes in advance of the show time on a first come, first serve basis. After this time, general rush tickets go on sale. If a passholder arrives late and the theatre is full, seating may not be available. Once a theatre is at capacity, we are unable to admit additional people. ALL ACCESS PASS is non-refundable.

General Admission $15

Students $10 – type code STUDENT at check out for discount. Valid student ID is required.

Seniors $10 – type code SENIOR at check out for discount.

All Access Pass $75

All pricing plus hst. Service charges apply to online purchases.

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Rush tickets are only available at the box office for your selected film on the day of screening. If a film screening is rush seating only, we will announce this on our website and social media channels. Please arrive a minimum of 45 minutes in advance of your film and join the rush line to be the first to purchase released tickets. Rush tickets can be purchased with cash only.

NOTE: The screening schedule is subject to change. Please visit for up-to-date schedules.

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2017 MCAP SHORT Shorts


April 21, 2017

Presented by 

Waterloo Region



Mike Gallant (Toronto)


3:00pm Saturday, October 28 University of Waterloo School of Architecture, Cambridge

“A woman, in the midst of a deteriorating and tumultuous relationship, volunteers to test out a new neuro drug called “Narcoproxen.”

Narcoproxen gives its patients the ability to “drift”, ending a stream of memorable consciousness and then picking it up later on in life and avoiding potential trauma or other unwanted memories.

The more this woman needs Narcoproxen the more her relationship crumbles into darkness. Will she discover she should live her life and deal with the problems she faces, or continue to hide from her choices until the day she dies?”


Happy Face Hill

Samantha Chalmers (Cambridge)


1:00pm Saturday, October 28 University of Waterloo School of Architecture, Cambridge

“True Canadian Andrew Sitler was born, raised, and lives on a farm in Cambridge, Ontario.

His peaceful rural lifestyle came to a halt when the city of Cambridge approached the Sitler’s about building what is now known today as Hespeler Road, into their land.

This construction divided their property and rendered a portion of their land unusable. However, one thing that everyone knows about Andrew Sitler is that with him, nothing goes to waste. Thus Happy Face Hill.

As we reflect on Andrew Sitler’s experiences, we come to comprehend that happiness can be much more than just a happy face.”




Final Exam

Philippe Gosselin (Toronto)


Wednesday, October 25, 7:00pm @ Shopify, Waterloo

“Zaid, a university student, lingers after class to ask his philosophy professor some questions about death. At first she suspects that he’s merely cramming for the final exam, but it soon becomes clear that his need for answers is much more urgent.”

“Final Exam takes a philosophical look at identity, fear of death and how we proceed through life given our own mortality.”

“Final Exam is entirely philosophical in nature it does not provide any conclusive answers. My intention is that viewers will be entertained and maintain their position regarding death or be open to new possibilities.” 


Break Room

 Andy Hourahine (Paris)


7:00pm Saturday, October 28 University of Waterloo School of Architecture, Cambridge

“An ambitious, young teacher, trying hide a rough past, is offered her dream job at a prestigious, private school but finds the unique staff has something more in mind than hitting the books on her first day.”




Salar Pashtoonyar (Toronto)


Friday, October 27, 7:00pm @ Communitech, Kitchener

“Sahil, a young Afghan immigrant struggles to sustain a romantic relationship with his lover due to his overbearing Afghan father. “

“Sahil is a film about one’s inability to communicate with their elders due to respecting family values. Being an Afghan-Canadian, throughout my teenage and young adult life, I haven’t been able to share some of my happiest and saddest moments with my loved ones because it will hurt their values and sentiments. This film comes from those moments that I want to speak out but can’t.”


What About Shelley

Kyle Reaume (Toronto)


Thursday, October 26, 6:00pm @ THEMUSEUM, Kitchener

“Billy and Shelley are best friends, but their friendship is greatly tested when Shelley’s boyfriend, Adam, secretly comes out to Billy – the only other gay man he knows.”


André the Anti-Giant

Kim Saltarski (Toronto)


Thursday, October 26, 7:30pm @ Galaxy Cinemas, Cambridge

“A 3-foot-something actor/comedian/disability advocate strives to retake the stage following a life-endangering diagnosis.”

“The world needs more human beacons to show us how to live. Andre H. Arruda is one such beacon. Being a fly on the wall in his wondrous world was a fantastic experience that I know will affect many different people in many ways. Enjoy!




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November 14, 2016

Application form

Each year, GRFF relies on volunteer film enthusiasts to present a festival of great film and programs. People are needed to assist in all areas of the festival – there is a role for everyone! As ambassadors for both the Festival and the Region of Waterloo, being pleasant, helpful and professional are key requirements for a GRFF volunteer.
Even though you are helping us out immensely, volunteering can also benefit you! These benefits can include real life skills for your resumé, tickets to GRFF screenings, the fabulous experience of taking part in a film festival, and high school community service hours.
If you are interested in lending your time and talents to GRFF, email for further information.

What type of volunteer position are you looking for?*
Tell us how you heard about GRFF and why you would like to volunteer:
Type the characters you see here:

* Indicates required fields

Opportunities for 2017 include:

Fundraising Committee Members Fundraising Committee Members
Role includes:
 attendance at meetings and active in planning/implementing the fundraising strategy. Great for those who are professional, out-going, comfortable talking on the phone and in-person, have a strong command of the English language, and respect confidentiality with information gathered. Experienced in Excel and Word a must.

Box Office – Be where the action happens – and keep track of it too!
Role includes: cash management, ticket sales, complimentary ticket and waitlist coordination, cash reconciliation, provide general information for festival events. Great for those who love interacting with the public and are good with numbers.

Theatre Ushers – The welcoming face of the festival!
Role includes: ticket taker, assist guests into the theatre, coordinate wait lines, provide general information for festival events, hand out surveys/film guides. Great for those who enjoy interacting with the public and providing a exceptional service.

Special Events – The life of the party!
Role includes: Set up, clean up, break down, hospitality, coat check, ticket taker, food and beverage service, bussing. Great for those who can shift from one job to the next and have a keen eye for detail.

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October 12, 2016

Our educational outreach series launched in 2013 to encourage an interest in the film industry with our region’s youth. Cin-E-merge is committed to offering exciting and accessible programming for students to screen Canadian films, learn from captivating presentations, and network with leading local film and video industry professionals.

This year we are honoured to begin a partnership with REEL CANADA, a travelling film festival established in 2005 with a mandate to expose students to the power and diversity of Canadian film, and engage them in a conversation about what it means to be Canadian.

The 2016 school presentation features the short film THE GRANDFATHER DRUM by Michelle Desrosiers and the feature film ANGRY INUK by Alethea Arnaquq-Baril. Guest director Michelle Desrosiers will travel with the school program facilitating post-screening discussion and Q&A.

For educators wanting to learn more about our school programs, please contact Tamara Louks

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October 12, 2016

We have an unprecedented choice of film festivals that includes the industry heavyweights like TIFF, Cannes and Sundance to genre specific and one-day fests like ZontaKW Film Festival and The Shortest Day Film Festival. With 10 years of presenting GRFF, we’d like to hear from you our audience.

We invite you to share your views on what brought you to GRFF in 2016 and what will bring you back next year. Our Board of Directors wants you to share your ideas about the future of GRFF and help shape what the next 10 years can be.

Visit our online survey at

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