MENU

Press Releases

607

The Grand River Film Festival celebrates 12 years with a new spring line-up

PressRelease

May 1, 2019

PRESS RELEASE FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

The 4-day festival includes Canadian premieres, directorial debuts and stories with social impact

Friday, April 26, 2019, WATERLOO REGION, ON – The Grand River Film Festival (GRFF), Waterloo Region’s longest running film festival, is set to open its 12 th season with an exciting new spring date, screening at venues across Waterloo Region May 8 – 11, 2019. Offering a diverse collection of compelling stories and unique experiences, including the directorial debut of TRUE BLOOD’s Stephen Moyer and a screening of the highly touted Inuit lacrosse film THE GRIZZLIES, the grassroots festival brings arts and culture to life in a dynamic way.

The 12th season continues the festival’s notable programming, pairing screenings with director Q&A’s, local interest group panels, and outstanding 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.

“This season’s films are an exciting cross section of the struggles and triumphs of life,” said Michael Clark, Chair of Festival Programming. “Each will stay with you long after you leave the theatre.”

Highlights for GRFF 2019 include:

Two Canadian premieres with THE PARTING GLASS and BE NATURAL, both hosting a post-screening talk with the film’s directors.

● Known for his riveting role as Bill Compton in the hit series TRUE BLOOD, Stephen Moyer’s directorial film debut THE PARTING GLASS will screen with producer Cerise Larkin attending for a Q&A. Written by colleague Denis O’Hare, based on his own story of loss, THE PARTING GLASS is a meditation on family and mortality, and for the film’s director Moyer, “it is a story about life; and how experiences like these shape our future life and the way we live it”. ● BE NATURAL is the incredible unknown story of film pioneer Alice Guy-Blaché (1873-1968) who wrote, produced or directed 1,000 films, including 150 with synchronized sound during the ‘silent’ era. Her work included comedies, westerns and dramas, as well as films with groundbreaking subject matter such as child abuse, immigration, Planned Parenthood, and female empowerment. Director Pamela B. Green will join the screening via Skype along with guest speakers Dr. Katherine Spring Wilfrid Laurier University Film Studies and Dr. Charlie Keil University of Toronto Film Studies.

Embracing the power film can have to explore difficult topics, THE PUBLIC, GOALIE and THE GRIZZLIES will feature powerful discussions with visiting guest speakers.

● THE PUBLIC , directed by Emilio Estevez, is a commentary on the role public libraries play for our homeless population as both a daytime shelter and safe space, but also providing free access to communicate and network through library resources. Mary Chevreau, CEO of Kitchener Public Library and Suzi Gersoy, Chair of All In 2020 will speak after the film about the issues and initiatives underway to address homelessness in our region.

● The life of a professional athlete is one of passion, dedication and sacrifice regardless of the sport. But there is something very different about the role of a goaltender. GOALIE , the story of legendary Terry Sawchuk who is considered the world’s greatest goaltender, will be followed by a talk with acclaimed historian Kevin Shay, award-winning author of 17 hockey books and editor of publications and features for the Hockey Hall of Fame, and Justin Brooks, Director of Athletic Development and DEPTH Partner.

● The Canadian film THE GRIZZLIES has been racking up audience awards at festivals internationally and for good reason. While on the surface it may seem like another sport movie, THE GRIZZLIES is so much more. The characters in this film are based on real people, but they also represent every child across North America who is struggling with structurally-imposed barriers and inter-generational trauma—and show that there is always a way to stay in the game, overcome obstacles and gain confidence despite steep odds. Lacrosse Hall of Fame inductee and Director of Iroquois Lacrosse Cam Bomberry will talk about the role sport can play in transforming individuals and communities.

Regional sneak peaks of STARFISH and BOOKSMART feature directorial debuts by A.T. White and Olivia Wilde respectively, and provide focus and perspectives from traditionally underrepresented groups.

● Written, directed and scored by A. T. White, primarily a musician by trade, STARFISH is a beautiful sci-fi that explores grief and loss, healing and regret, through Aubrey, a woman alone in the world with only the power of music to save her.

● Told from a wildly original, fresh and modern perspective, BOOKSMART is an unfiltered comedy about high school friendships and the bonds we create that last a lifetime. Capturing the spirit of our times, the film is a coming of age story for a new generation, a reminder to all of us that you come-of-age when you open-up and allow your light to shine, and when you let others do the same.

The festival lineup rounds out with the fascinating documentary CHEF FLYNN , a uniquely comprehensive portrait of a one-of-a-kind childhood and a young star’s rise as seen from the inside, about teen phenom and award-winning chef Flynn McGarry.

“We are certain this year’s festival will provide an opportunity for everyone to express their love of film,” said Paul Tortolo, Chair of the Board of Directors. “GRFF is unique in that there truly is a film for everyone. And at $15 a ticket, you don’t have to break the bank for a memorable night out.”

For a complete schedule, access to trailers and to purchase tickets, please visit www.grff.ca

-30-

About GRFF

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 festival takes place each spring at venues throughout Waterloo Region.

To book interviews or for more information, please contact:

Tamara Louks Email: tamara.louks@grff.ca Cell: 519-239-0710

Read article

632

Come From Away documentary director to speak at local screening of YOU ARE HERE

PressRelease

November 7, 2018

Nov. 5, 2018, Cambridge, ON – “The pilot came on the PA system and said ‘due to a terrorist attack, we’ll be landing in Gander, Newfoundland’… I had never heard of Newfoundland,” recalled one of 7,000 airline passengers who landed in the small, 9,000 member community of Gander, Newfoundland during the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

YOU ARE HERE: A COME FROM AWAY STORY , the documentary based on the celebrated theatrical play Come From Away , will screen as part of The Grand River Film Festival (GRFF) CineSeries program on Wednesday, Nov. 14 at 7:30 p.m. at the Galaxy Cinemas in the Cambridge Centre. The film’s writer and director Moze Mossanen will be in attendance for a question and answer period after the screening.

The heart-warming documentary shines a light on the actual Newfoundlanders and passengers whose lives have inspired the musical production. This includes the mayors of Gander and Appleton, Newfoundland, and all real-life people who worked tirelessly alongside countless others to comfort and care for their unexpected guests. It also follows the real-life passengers, including a couple who fell in love and honeymooned in Gander, the pilot of an American Airlines jet whose life was turned upside down, and a U.S. businessman who was so touched by his hosts’ generosity that he went on to create Good Samaritan initiatives in other cities. Tickets cost $12.00 + hst and can be purchased in advance at grff.ca . For full details on each film and screening events, visit grff.ca and on the Facebook Page .

About GRFF

Founded in 2007, the Grand River Film Festival (GRFF) is committed to celebrate and inspire community through the shared experience of film. Screening 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.

About CineSeries

Cambridge audiences have had the opportunity to experience the very best in Canadian and International film for 20 years, thanks to the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) Film Circuit and the vision of Cambridge Art Galleries. In 1998, past gallery director Mary Misner met with TIFF Film Circuit staff, realizing the importance of bringing quality films to this community. As part of the circuit, which provides access to films to over 190 groups in 150 communities across Canada, CineSeries has presented a wide variety of genres including documentary, international and homegrown films. For more information, please contact media@grff.ca .

Read article

11th Grand River Film Festival Announces MCAP SHORT Shorts Finalists and Industry Day Program

PressRelease

October 11, 2017

October 11, 2017, Cambridge, ON – Celebrating excellence in independent filmmaking and a new focus on tech, the Grand River Film Festival (GRFF) is pleased to announce the 2017 MCAP SHORT Shorts finalists and Industry Day program.

Seven finalists from across the province were selected for this year’s shorts competition now in its 10th year. Finalist films will be screened throughout festival week paired with feature films, allowing greater exposure to this often overlooked format.

“Short films are a fantastic format for both the filmmaker and the audience,” said Paul Tortolo, Chair of Festival Program. “The challenge and art of telling a story in a 15 minute frame or less, produces exceptional films, and is a popular part of the annual GRFF program.”

 

2017 MCAP SHORT Shorts Finalists:

André the Anti-Giant by Kim Saltarski, Toronto

Break Room by Andy Hourahine, Paris

Drift by Mike Gallant, Toronto

Final Exam by Philippe Gosselin, Toronto

Happy Face Hill by Samantha Chalmers, Cambridge

Sahil by Salar Pashtoonyar, Toronto

What About Shelley by Kyle Reaume, Toronto

All finalists will receive an honorarium screening fee, GRFF swag bag, 2 All Access Passes to the festival and complimentary admission to Industry Day. Prize winners receive $750 thanks to sponsor MCAP.

 

 

The Industry Day event takes place Friday, October 27, 1-5pm at Communitech’s Tannery Event Centre in Kitchener. GRFF welcomes Colin McRae, Head of Development at Shopify Studios as the Keynote Speaker. McRae is an in-demand, international award-winning executive producer, director and content expert having worked for major media companies Bell and VICE, to starting his own company Vapr Media, and creating content for Red Bull Media House, NHL, NFL, Disney, MTV and many more.

Joining the panels are independent filmmakers Jason Butler of Subprod Productions, whose film First Round Down not only screened at GRFF in 2016, but also made the festival circuit rounds across North America and recently Dieppe, France; Trinni Franke award winning filmmaker and social media producer whose resume boasts Cineplex Front Row Centre, Union Pictures, Agency 71 and currently Willis Sweete Productions; Karam Masri program consultant for film and TV at the Ontario Media Development Corporation (OMDC); and, Michael Meredith of RBC. Leading panel discussions is Samantha Clark, Publicity Manager at Communitech.

Featured at the Industry Day event will be the screening and awards presentation of this year’s winning MCAP SHORT Shorts films, culminating in a catered networking reception. Tickets are on sale now at https://grand-river-film-festival.myshopify.com Pricing is $15 general admission,

$10 students and seniors.

 

About Grand River Film Festival:

Founded in 20017, 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 festival takes place each fall at venues throughout Waterloo Region (Cambridge, Kitchener, Waterloo).

 

Media Contact Tamara Louks Executive Director info@grff.ca

519-239-0710

www.grff.ca

Read article

11th Annual Grand River Film Festival Announces Film Line-up, New Focus

PressRelease

September 20, 2017

September 20, 2017, Cambridge, ON – GRFF proudly announces its 2017 line-up featuring critically acclaimed films and a connection to the region’s tech hub, with the new tagline “Where Tech Meets Indie.”

The festival kicks off at Shopify in Waterloo on October 25th, with the screening of She Started It, a documentary focusing on women in tech. A panel of local female entrepreneurs will accompany the film to answer questions and provide insight on the topic.

“We’re very excited to be partnering with Shopify and screening this film,” said Kim Elworthy, Chair of the Board of Directors for GRFF. “Opening night represents the focus of this year’s festival; to celebrate the tech scene in the region while providing the community with compelling and entertaining indie films.”

This influence is also evident with the screenings of Geek Girls and Reengineering SAM, two films that take a look at how technology and new media are shaping the lives of two very different groups of people.

Though tech may be the focus of this year’s festival, GRFF continues to boast a well-rounded line-up. International films, Lost in Paris, a comedy from France, and Lucky, a USA drama, are two features that have drawn rave reviews from the likes of the Hollywood Reporter, Variety and Indiewire.

Hot Docs favourite, Integral Man, is an inspiring portrait about a man and his home, featuring Toronto’s Jim Stewart, the most published mathematician since Euclid, and a labour of love by Canadian director Joseph Clement.

GRFF’s closing film, Riverhead is the first feature length film from Newfoundland director Justin Oakey. His short Flankers received praise at TIFF in 2014 and his stylistic approach to filmmaking is a beautiful representation of his home province.

“This is a great opportunity for the region,” said Tamara Louks, GRFF’s Executive director. “These films share amazing stories and most people won’t get the chance to see them anywhere else.”

At GRFF, it’s more than just the film. Whether it’s director Q&A’s, panel discussions, exhibition tours or parties, GRFF attendees always get a little bit extra.

And at $15 a ticket, you don’t have to break the bank for a great night out.

For a complete schedule, access to trailers and to purchase tickets, please visit www.grff.ca.

 

About GRFF

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 festival takes place each fall at venues throughout Waterloo Region.

Media Contact

Cassady Louks Communications Assistant

Email: media@grff.ca        Cell: 226-821-1124

Read article

11th Grand River Film Festival Opens Shorts Program Submissions with New Virtual Reality Stream

PressRelease

May 18, 2017

May 18, 2017, Cambridge, ON – The Grand River Film Festival (GRFF) launches its 11th season rolling out a number of initiatives to move the fest into the next decade of growth. GRFF spent its first 10 years building a fantastic reputation as a regional festival that supports local filmmakers and continually boasts a more than 50% Canadian programming lineup. As we continue to build upon the past successes, a standout is the MCAP SHORT Shorts Program which is now open for submissions. Our returning sponsor for the 5th year, MCAP is one of Canada’s largest independent mortgage financing companies, with over $61 billion in assets under administration. The company operates in two key lines of business: residential mortgages and commercial mortgages and construction loans.

 

GRFF excitingly announces their first VR Shorts program in addition to the Best Ontario Short Film and Best Waterloo Region Short Film. Content creators can submit by the regular deadline on June 2, 2017. GRFF is proudly partnering with the Waterloo chapter of Ctrl V (http://www.ctrlv.ca), Canada’s first virtual reality arcade. Ctrl V houses HTC Vive stations and alongside GRFF will be hosting experiences from our selection with an open range of content from games to short films. GRFF welcomes VR and AR projects that are up to 10 minutes in length and are creative and unique. Visit Film Freeway for more details and submit your work today! https://filmfreeway.com/festival/GrandRiverFilmFestival

 

Stay tuned as we introduce exciting new changes and opportunities for the festival and the Waterloo Region.

– 30 –

About Grand River Film Festival:

The Grand River Film Festival is an annual festival dedicated to bringing bold, reflective and inspiring films to Waterloo Region (Cambridge, Kitchener, Waterloo) taking place October 25 – 28, 2017.

 

Media Contact

Emma Norton

905.580.7844

emma@evogage.com

www.grff.ca

Read article