Regent Park, a diverse downtown neighborhood in Toronto, is also one of the largest low-incoming housing communities in Canada. Populated predominantly by new immigrants and Aboriginal Peoples, most of the homes are social housing, and the average income of residents is about half the average of other Torontonians.
Interestingly, a community whose residents face the greatest social and economic barriers, also happens to host one of the most accessible cultural events Toronto has to offer.
The Regent Park Film Festival (RPFF) is Toronto’s only free-of-charge film festival dedicated to showcasing multicultural works relevant to the residents living in the community.
The festival features independent films of all lengths and genres in their original languages (subtitled in English), with topics pertinent to various Regent Park communities. Issues such as urbanization, community activism, immigrant experiences, inner-city issues, cultural identity and multicultural relationships are showcased prominently. In addition, the festival provides programming for students in Grades 1 to 8 that addresses themes of difference, racial diversity, bullying, gender identity, poverty, health and other issues relevant to youth.
Regent Park residents are encouraged to create media works, through free professional training workshops, and engage in debates through panel discussions. Annually, films made by residents are highlighted in the Family Program and Community Stories: Youth Media Art Program on Opening Night – events supporting self-representation and engaging dialogue with guest youth filmmakers from other parts of the world.
This year, the festival is placing particular emphasis on fictional features and short length films from the Asian and African Diaspora. All activities, as well as childcare, are free-of-charge and artists’ fees are covered.
The festival accepts films of all lengths and genres.
For more information on submissions, please visit RegentParkFilmFestival.com. Filmmakers are able to submit online, and there is no entry fee.
Extended Deadline: Friday, May 20, 2011