Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers / 2021 / English / Canada / 124 mins

Kímmapiiyipitssini: The Meaning of Empathy chronicles the impact of the opioid crisis on Indigenous community. Tailfeathers focuses on Alberta’s Kainai First Nation, where her mother, Dr. Esther Tailfeathers, works tirelessly to support and educate families affected by the overdose epidemic. The film presents viewers with a series of first-hand accounts from local first responders, healthcare professionals, and people with substance-use disorder.

Kímmapiiyipitssini is a Blackfoot word for empathy and kindness. The Meaning of Empathy explains why embracing this practice is critical to combating addictions. Criminalizing drug use does not address the root problem; a legacy of colonialism and intergenerational trauma inflicted by racist government policies. The film reveals the merits of this new approach, even as it faces resistance from conservative policymakers. Tailfeathers has crafted one of the year’s most powerful films, chronicling the Kainai First Nation’s struggles, while honouring their strength and resilience.


Amar Chebib| 2020 | Canada | English | 16 min
Joe Buffalo is a prolific Indigenous skateboarder. He’s also a survivor of Canada’s notorious Indian Residential School system. Following a traumatic childhood and decades of addiction, Joe must face his inner demons to realize his dream of turning pro.



Join us at 8:30 pm ET for a live Zoom panel discussion featuring Dr. Tailfeathers and Lori Eagle Plume, who will discuss the idea of empathy being a powerful tool for combatting addiction; conversation moderated by Alexandra Lazarowich.

Alexandra Lazarowich is an award-winning Cree filmmaker from northern Alberta. Her short film Fast Horse was honoured with The Special Jury Prize for Directing at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival. Her body of work as director and producer includes LAKE, Indian Rights for Indian Women, Cree Code Talker and Empty Metal. She is the series producer for the CBC’s multi-award-winning comedy documentary series Still Standing and is one of the co-founders of COUSIN Collective.


Keywords: Addiction | Displacement | Harm reduction | Healthcare | Indigenous rights | Trauma
Thursday October 28th
5pm (in-person) 
IN-PERSON SCREENING and panel discussion + AMPLIFY
October 28
VIRTUAL SCREENING and panel discussion
October 28 – November 7
Toronto Indigenous Harm Reduction
Imagine Native
"Opening Film."

Toronto Fall Film Festival Digital Tasting Tour

Toronto Fall Film Festival Digital Tasting Tour

Inviting audiences to discover new Canadian or Indigenous cinema from 7 Toronto film festivals

This fall, Toronto film festivals are joining forces to bring entertainment to Greater Toronto Area audiences in social isolation by offering a series of free digital screenings. Participating festivals have selected one Canadian film or Indigenous program from their lineups to be offered to audiences FREE OF CHARGE.

Each participating festival has traditionally been focused on its own communities but we found ourselves reaching out to each other when COVID-19 changed the landscape of presentation for us all. Through our ongoing dialogue and collaboration, we all felt a sense of connection and that links our communities together and we realized that we could have a lot to offer each other’s audiences.

The COVID-19 pandemic has reminded us all that only together can we weather the storms. We believe that films have the healing powers that can bring communities together and diminish the issues that try to divide us.

We hope you enjoy this selection of free programming.

  • October 1 - November 30
Inside Out logo

Inside Out Toronto LGBT Film Festival (Oct 1-11, 2020)


Planet in Focus logo

Planet in Focus Film Festival (Oct 14-18, 2020)

A FREE Program of international and Canadian short films curated especially for young people.


Reelworld logo

Reelworld Film Festival (Oct 14-19, 2020)


Workman Arts Rendezvous With Madness

Rendezvous With Madness (Oct 15-25, 2020)

Quarantine Blues: Workman Arts Member Films > October 13-27, 2020 (free, worldwide)

imagineNATIVE logo

imagineNATIVE Film Festival (Oct 20-25, 2020)

Monkey Beach
Thursday, October 22, 10:00 AM Release, available until Saturday, October 24, 10:00 AM
Thursday, October 22, 2:00 PM EST: Feature Focus and Live Q&A with director Loretta Todd

Director/Producer: Loretta Todd (Cree/Métis)
Canada | 2020 | 103 min | English | Dramatic Feature

Determined to outrun her powers, Lisa Hill leaves her Haisla village of Kitamaat for the city and a life of partying—until her dead cousin’s plea sends her home. Lisa returns to her parents’ home where she is confronted by a long-ignored but powerful connection to the supernatural world that surrounds her.

Link coming soon.

Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival (Nov 12-19, 2020)

Wee Asian

Free programming dedicated to sparking joy, creativity, and fun for little ones and families to enjoy together. Engage in live & pre-recorded arts activities plus watch a shorts programme including:

Test Flight | Emma Momoko Frew | Canada, 2020 | 3 min
A bunny witch can’t seem to get her vegetable-themed broomstick to fly.

First Born | Justin Bruce Lee | USA, 2020 | 3 min
Arthur feels pressure to prove himself to his father at a martial arts competition.

Isle of Chair | Ivyy Chen | Taiwan/UK, 2020 | 6 min
What happens when a chair falls on a secluded island…

Beyond the Line | Jinuk Choi | South Korea/USA, 2020 | 3 min
A wheelchair races against other toys in the hospital hallway at night.

Felt Love | Angeline Vu, Arlene Bongco | USA, 2020 | 6 min
A touching story about the love between a mother and son.

Yuwol: The Boy Who Made The World Dance | 유월 | Beff | South Korea, 2020 | 25 min
Tap along with Yuwol as he inspires (or infects) others to dance.

Regent Park Film Festival (November 26-29, 2020)

Program information Coming Soon

Hindsight: A National Film Board of Canada retrospective

Hindsight: A National Film Board of Canada retrospective

  • Streaming for free on VUCAVU (vucavu.com) from October 13-27
  • Virtual panel - This panel is pre-recorded and available for free on the same webpage as the films

Streaming of this film and virtual panel is available to viewers worldwide.


ASL Interpreted, Open Captions, Active Listener

Various artists / 110 min


Film is a storytelling format that can splice directly into a person’s awareness of something. Yet in hindsight, when has the medium showcased the sensitive and nuanced topics of mental health and/or addiction?

Hindsight is a short film retrospective that traverses the topic of mental health and addiction within the National Film Board’s extensive archive. This co-presented program looks back almost seventy years to dynamically highlight a spectrum of stories and filmmaking techniques. Films sampled from the archive include Breakdown (1951), a fictitious film about a seemingly well-adjusted young woman who’s schizophrenic episode has landed her in a modern mental hospital. The Agony of Jimmy Quinlan (1978), a portrait documentary depicting the life of Jimmy Quinlan, one of an estimated 5000men who struggled with addiction in the alleys of late 1970s Montreal. Street Kids (1985), a succession of montaged black and white photographs voiced over to reveal a glance into juvenile prostitution. Nowhere Land (2015), a documentary narrated by Inuit Bonnie Ammaaq and her family tells their faint memories of attempting to live while the government-manufactured community of Igloolik becomes an elegy for Indigenous displacement and mental health. XO RAD MAGIQUE (2019) is an animated video work both psychedelic and hypnotic in nature, that takes you on an abstract journey living with schizophrenia in daily life.



Accompanying this NFB retrospective is a pre-recorded video interview with local Toronto artists Katelyn Gallucci, Greg Mccarthy and Derek Coulombe. In conversation, the artists will discuss the activity of looking back. How do the films bring up feelings of hindsight? How do we navigate these feelings? Why do we as artists sample from archives? Why is it important to create discussions around archival material?

This is Not A Burial, it's a Resurrection

This is Not A Burial, it's a Resurrection

  • Available to stream online: Thu, Oct 22, 9:00pm to Sat, Oct 24, 9:00pm

Streaming of this film is only available to viewers in Ontario, Canada. Virtual Q&A is available worldwide.

Lemohang Jeremiah Mosese / 2019 / Sesotho with English subtitles / Lesotho / South Africa / Italy / 119 min / Ontario Premiere




Set in the stunning landscape of the Lesotho mountains, this unique film follows the story of an 80-year-old widow, Mantoa. Mantoa eagerly awaits her son’s return from work in the mines; instead, she learns of his death. Her immense grief is framed within the Provincial decree to relocate her village in order for development of a dam and reservoir, threatening to flood and erase everything that she holds dear. Mantoa takes up a spiritual mantle and fights for the land, community and her desire to bury her child on the land they were raised on. A colourful, heartfelt and personal story full of the strength, history and the power of this lone matriarch in the face of great change. Taking her last stand, Mantoa asserts her way of life, where the living and the dead stand together to bear witness to the changing landscape, making us question the price of progress.


ASL Interpreted, Open Captions, Active Listener

An Active Listener will be available Sat, Oct 24 from 9-11pm to support this program.
Your active listener for this program is Kat.
You can connect with Kat by phone (talk or text) at (647) 474-2338 or by email at katrissing@gmail.com.



The Fever (A Febre)

The Fever (A Febre)

  • Available to stream online: Wed, Oct 21, 9:00pm to Fri, Oct 23, 9:00pm
  • Virtual panel/Q&A: Fri, Oct 23, 8:30pm

Maya Da-Rin / 2019 / Portuguese / Tukano with English subtitles / Brazil / France / Germany / 98 min



Desana Justino lives in Manaus, a port city in the Amazon rainforest, having left behind his home in the wilderness many years ago. As an Indigenous man, he tries to navigate between the disappearing natural landscape and his own life. His daughter has to decide if she will pursue medical school in Brazil and the potential separation weighs heavy in the air as she worries about her father’s health. Working as a security guard to support his family as seemingly supernatural forces manifest, Da-Rin’s camera intimately captures a man still intensely connected to the land. Justino is a quiet man caught between the old ways of his people and the industrialized ways quickly taking over; juxtaposing images of confining industrial cityscapes over the simple and quiet way of life more in tune with nature. A languid, hypnotic story that both makes his yearning for a simpler and sturdier time palatable and makes us question our place in it.


ASL Interpreted, Open Captions

An Active Listener will be available Fri, Oct 23 from 8:30-10:30pm to support this program.
Your active listener for this program is Christeen.
You can connect with Christeen by phone (talk or text) at (289) 779-4114 or by email at christeen.salik@gmail.com.



Following the screening of The Fever, join us for a virtual Q&A with Brazilian filmmaker, visual artist and former documentarian Maya Da-Rin to discuss the making of her first fiction feature, her country’s “post-apocalyptic state” and the catastrophic impact of Bolsonaro’s brutal regime on Brazil’s Indigenous communities. Moderated by Jaene F. Castrillon, a multi-disciplinary artist, filmmaker and Rendezvous with Madness programmer.