The Grand River Film Festival (GRFF) has received a boost towards pandemic recovery efforts with a $14,000 Resilient Communities Fund grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation and the Government of Ontario. The Resilient Communities Fund was developed to help non-profit organizations recover and rebuild from the impacts of COVID-19 and to continue meeting the needs of Ontario communities. GRFF Chair, Paul Tortolo, says “The support of OTF and the Government of Ontario, along with GRFF’s other funding partners and sponsors, ensures the sustainability of the organization which held its thirteenth festival in May 2021. Through the Resilient Communities Fund grant, GRFF has invested in the future by purchasing a virtual platform that will provide the flexibility needed to offer films online even when there is a return to in-person screenings. As well, the fund will support the redesign of GRFF’s website, a process that will both modernize and bring our online profile up to the standard of other film festivals.”

MPP Laura Mae Lindo for Kitchener Centre says “My sincerest congratulations to the Grand River Film Festival (GRFF) on being a recipient of the Resilient Communities Fund grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation. As a pillar of arts, culture and creative expression in Waterloo Region, this award will ensure that GRFF is able to continue to provide opportunities for local artists to showcase their talents despite the challenges the pandemic has brought to creative artists working in the sector. As you celebrate this success, please know that we are so very grateful for your powerful contributions to our community. Wishing GRFF many more years of success!”

The grant supports GRFF’s efforts to increase access to its film festival, which ran virtually due to the pandemic. By investing in a virtual platform , head of Programming, Michael Clarke, says “GRFF can continue to fulfil its mandate to bring unique Canadian and international independent film to Waterloo Region. We can also continue to support local filmmakers by providing them a showcase for their works. And we can support other community organizations whose programming and fundraising has been impacted by the pandemic.”

If you are interested in learning more about GRFF please contact Paul Tortolo, Chair, at
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.

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.

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