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The Grand River Film Festival (GRFF), Waterloo Region’s longest running independent film festival, announces their showcase of films for the 2022 season. This year, the festival will be presented as a hybrid experience, which will take place from May 9 to 22. The virtual festival will be held again on an online platform called Eventive, with five additional live screenings at the Apollo Cinema from May 11 to 14. “After two years away, we’re excited to be watching films in a local venue again,” says Michael Clark, programming chair.

In addition to being the longest running festival in GRFF’s history, the 14th season will also be its largest season to date, with 13 features and 31 shorts across the two screening options. Film selections come from 12 countries and in 16 languages, all available for the first time in the Waterloo Region. “This year’s lineup has some of the best independent films we’ve ever seen. These are films that are coming to the Region for the first time, and some of them we’ll get to share together once again,” shares Paul Tortolo, Festival Chair. Tickets for both in-person and virtual events can be purchased individually through the Eventive platform, while 5-or-10 film passes for just the virtual screenings are also available. Tortolo adds “virtual films are available for the entirety of the festival, but like in-person films, spaces are limited, so reserve your seats as soon as possible.”

Following its tradition of promoting local filmmakers, the festival will offer two free selections this year in addition to the ticketed events. Virtually, the Local Shorts Programme: From Our Backyard showcases selections from our local filmmaking community, as well as the winners from the Hospice of Waterloo Region’s #YouOnlyDieOnce contest, and the winners of the City of Kitchener Youth Video Competition. This free screening is available on the Eventive platform for the duration of the festival. GRFF is also proud to present Indigenous Resurgents – Reflection and Action from the Front Lines, a free screening of documentaries related to Land Back initiatives. Moderated by Kahstoserakwathe Paulette Moore, and featuring a discussion with local organizers Amy Smoke, Bangishimo, Maddie Resmer, this free event will happen at the KPL Theatre on May 14.

Supported by a grant from the Ontario Trillium Resilient Communities Fund, the 2022 festival sees GRFF with a new and modernized logo, brand, and website. “After many months of hard work and dedication from our volunteers at GRFF and the team at design firm Octopus Red, we are pleased to announce the launch of our updated website profile to the standard of other film festivals! This new website is responsive, accessible and will support our festival in the long term,” Clark concludes.

If you are interested in learning more about GRFF please contact Paul Tortolo, Chair, at For additional information, visit GRFF’s website at


ABOUT GRAND RIVER FILM FESTIVAL – Founded in 2007, the Grand River Film Festival (GRFF) is committed to celebrate and inspire community through the shared experience of film. Featuring compelling documentaries, engaging shorts and premiere features, GRFF presents an integrated cultural experience. The festival encourages community involvement through a shared love for cinema by offering unique and diverse programming with creative community partnerships.

The Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) is an agency of the Government of Ontario, and one of Canada’s leading granting foundations. OTF awarded $613 million to 3,600 projects over the last six years to build healthy and vibrant communities in Ontario.

To visit our current event guide please click here.

You Only Die Once


GRFF is thrilled to once again partner with the Hospice of Waterloo Region for our annual short film competition, You Only Die Once: #YODOCONTEST