Three Films You Should See At This Year’s ReelWorld Festival

The Oscars are over and Neil Patrick Harris has long since put his pants back on, so the most sparkly moment in filmmaking is over. But if you noticed the #oscarssowhite feed on twitter and love movies with smart and culturally diverse storylines then you’ll appreciate what’s happening at the ReelWorld Film Festival on March 2-8. Held annually in Toronto, the festival’s main purpose is to support and showcase racially diverse film talent from Canada and beyond. It was founded in 2001 by Tonya Williams, who played Dr. Olivia Winters on The Young and the Restless.


There is a lot to choose from at this year’s festival, but here are three I’m looking forward to see.


Virtual Hitman, short comedy

VirtualHitman_Photo Courtesy of ReelWorld Film Festival



A young Chinese-Canadian woman named Lily tells her father she wants to quit school and be a professional gamer. Her father takes action by hiring an online hitman to kill Lily’s character during a gaming tournament to dash her dreams. Lily’s pain and her father’s guilt forces them to talk about something they’ve been avoiding for years.


Why I want to see this

A young woman taking a stand on her desires against her family’s wishes is very relatable, and I like that the film highlights a female in the professional gaming industry.

Grandma Knows Best?, short documentary

GrandmotherKnowsBest_Photo Courtesy of ReelWorld Film Festival



Two grandmothers, one in Canada and one in Ethiopia, dream of meeting one last time for their granddaughter’s wedding. But how will they convince their single granddaughter to date and marry a man?


Why I want to see this

Full disclosure: my girlfriend Tamara Dawit made this documentary about herself. She is one of the smartest, most determined women I know. But she rarely discusses relationships. So this was a brave exposé of her personal life and a look at the sweet connection between her two grandmothers.

A Few Cubic Meters of Love, feature length drama

AFewCubicMetres_Photo Courtesy of ReelWorld Film Festival

Trailer link


An Afghan girl named Marona living with her father and an orphaned Iranian boy named Saber live and work together illegally in an Irani scrap metal workshop. Their love is forbidden, and Marona worries about what will happen when Saber decides he wants to marry her.


Why I want to see this

I’m a sucker for a love story, but this one illuminates real world complications about the relationship between Afghan and Iranian people.

All films are showing next week in Toronto and Markham. Enjoy!




For You