Super Channel and the Canadian Film Fest (CFF), an indie-spirited festival dedicated to celebrating Canadian filmmakers, are pleased to team up for the fourth time to present a hybrid festival from March 28 to April 1. Canadian Film Fest Presented by Super Channel will showcase nine features, 25 shorts, and a digital series, running concurrently for audiences to enjoy in-person at Toronto’s Scotiabank Theatre and virtually on Super Channel Fuse. Tickets for the theatrical screenings can be purchased at canfilmfest.ca starting March 7.
“With the festival returning to the theatre this year, we are proud to be able to continue our partnership with the team at the CFF to bring these unique and engaging Canadian stories to a national audience to enjoy,” said Don McDonald, President and CEO, Super Channel.
“We have continued to see an incredible amount of submissions from Canadian filmmakers of diverse backgrounds and perspectives. The level of talent and originality truly demonstrates the need for more homegrown storytelling. We’re proud to partner with Super Channel again to give cinephiles across Canada the opportunity to watch some of the best Canadian films and we’re also thrilled to invite local audiences back into the theatre,” said Ashleigh Rains, Festival Director, Canadian Film Fest.
The festival will open with the Toronto premiere of the Quebec-made comedy, Babysitter from director Monia Chokri, which was recently nominated for multiple 2023 Canadian Screen Awards. Adapted by Canadian playwright and screenwriter Catherine Léger’s play of the same name, and starring Patrick Hivon, Monia Chokri, Nadia Tereszkiewicz and Steve Laplante, the film explores what happens to a man after a sexist joke goes viral and the therapeutic journey he embarks on to free himself from sexism and misogyny. Opening night will also include the World Premiere of Streams Flow From a River as an exclusive Super Channel presentation. This six-episode short digital series directed by Christopher Yip is a character-driven drama about the struggles immigrant families face while trying to make a home. This marks the festival’s first digital series to be part of its line-up.
The Canadian premiere of the Super Channel Original feature film, Wintertide from writer/director John Barnard will close the festival. The film stars Niamh Carolan as a volunteer watchperson of an isolated northern city who battles a plague of depression that transforms the few remaining residents into empty, zombie-like automatons.
The festival includes an incredible line up of feature films this year including the Canadian Premiere of Polarized by director Shamim Sarif, about the unexpected connection between two women from the same town as they face barriers of race, religion and class; the documentary Bloom by director Fanie Pelletier, which explores the world of today’s teen girls; and Bystanders directed by Koumbie where a group of childhood friends share their traditional weekend getaway and forced to confront the elephant in the room. CFF will proudly showcase 25 Canadian short films including Joy Webster’s Menace about a young woman who gets reverent against her ex-boyfriend; Alex from director Aisha Evelyna following an unassuming Black woman shopping with her friend who is forced to reckon with judgement when all-too-familiar oppressive systems kick into gear; and Sean McCarron’s comedy Corvine about an eccentric boy who has trouble fitting in at school due to his obsession with crows.
This year’s slate of compelling Canadian features and shorts includes 61% female and 54% BIPOC filmmakers.
See below for the complete festival schedule or visit at canadianfilmfest.ca. All of the feature films will be available on Super Channel and will have a limited broadcast presentation during the festival’s run.
The 2023 Canadian Film Fest presented by Super Channel features schedule:
(All feature presentations both in theatre and on-air are preceded by a brief introduction and short film. All times are ET. Check local listings for Super Channel broadcast times)
Tuesday, March 28:
7 pm ET – Babysitter (Drama) – Toronto Premiere
Director: Monia Chokri
Cast: Patrick Hivon, Monia Chokri, Nadia Tereszkiewicz, Steve Laplante
Middle-aged Cédric is suspended from work after drunkenly kissing a female reporter on live TV. Stuck at home with his girlfriend, Nadine and their crying baby, Cédric teams up with his brother, Jean-
Michel, to co-author a book apologizing for their past misogyny. Enter Amy: a mysterious and provocative young babysitter who, like a Mary Poppins of the libido, forces the trio to confront their sexual anxieties while turning their lives upside down.
Opening with the short film Momma’s Boy (director Sonny Atkins, World Premiere)
9 pm ET (Special Super Channel broadcast presentation only) – Streams Flow From a River (Short-form drama series) – World premiere (Super Channel Original Production)
Director: Christopher Yip
Cast: Jane Luk, Jinny Wong, Raymond Chan, Danielle Ayow, Liam Ma, Simon Sinn, Benjamin
Sutherland, Brett Houghton, Wesley French
A freak snowstorm traps a dysfunctional Chinese Canadian family together in their rural Albertan hometown, forcing them to confront the events a decade prior that tore them all apart.
Wednesday, March 29:
7 pm ET – When Time Got Louder (Drama) – Toronto Premiere
Director: Connie Cocchia
Cast: Willow Shields; Locklyn Munro; Elizabeth Mitchell; Jonathan Simao
Departing for college, Abbie leaves her parents and brother who has autism and is non-verbal. As she explores her independence and sexuality, she’s torn between her new life and her love for her brother.
Opening with the short film Great Seeing You (director Holly Pruner, Toronto Premiere)
9 pm ET – Bystanders (Drama) – Toronto Premiere (produced in association with Super Channel)
Cast: Marlee Sansom, Katelyn McCulloch, Deborah Castrilli, Cavell Holland, Peter Sarty, Taylor Olson Kyle is Justin ’s brother, Zeke is Justin’s roommate, Lily is Justin ’s biggest fan, Sophia is Justin’s critic
and Ayda is Justin’s first love. This group of childhood friends, now in their 20s, share their traditional spring weekend getaway and are forced to confront the elephant in the room: Justin.
Opening with the short film There Are No Children Here (director Shehrezade Mian, Toronto premiere)
Thursday, March 30:
7 pm ET – How to Get My Parents to Divorce (Comedy) – Toronto Premiere
Director: Sandrine Brodeur-Desrosiers
Cast: Charlotte St-Martin, Isabelle Blais, Pierre-Luc Brillant, Liam Patenaude, Charlie Fortier, Louka Amadeo Bélanger-Leos et Simone Laperle
Justine is about to finish grade six and is tired of her parents fighting all the time. Maybe she’ll be happier if they divorce? In order to force their hand, the pre-teen decides to create her own court. The
end-of-school-year show is the pretext for this. With her friends, she must find young people from her entourage who will serve as lawyers and judges. When her plan turns into an obsession, her
friendships may suffer. Especially since the situation could very well escape her…
Opening with the short film Sissy (directors Caleb Harwood, Simon Paluck, World premiere)
9 pm ET – Golden Delicious (Drama) – Toronto Premiere
Director: Jason Karman
Cast: Cardi Wong, Chris Carson, Parmiss Sehat, Ryan Mah, Leeah Wong, Claudia Kai, Jesse Hyde, Hunter Dillon, Zavien Garrett, Jeffrey Joseph
When basketball-obsessed Aleks moves in across the street, Asian-Canadian teen Jake finds himself trying out for the basketball team to get his attention in this classic coming-of-age drama set in the digital age.
Opening with the short film majboor-e-mamool (director Haaris Qadri, Toronto premiere)
Friday, March 31:
7 pm ET – Bloom (Documentary) – Toronto Premiere
Director: Fanie Pelletier
Through moments in the lives of three groups of girls, images gleaned from the web and live streams of young women around the world, BLOOM delves into the world of today’s teenage girls. We delicately observe a hyper-connected but lonely generation inhabited by great lucidity, an inner struggle with self-image obsession, and a need for self-affirmation in the face of a complex sense of alienation.
Opening with the short film Shallots and Garlic (aka Bawang Merah Bawang Putih) (directed by Andrea Nirmala Widjajanto, Toronto premiere)
9 pm ET – Retrograde (Drama) – Toronto Premiere
Director: Adrian Murray
Cast: Molly Reisman, Sofia Banzhaf, Bessie Cheng, Meelad Moaphi, Dean Tardioli, Erik Anderson
A minor traffic citation spirals into an all-consuming obsession for a neurotic young woman.
Opening with the short film Alex (director Aisha Evelyna, Toronto premiere)
Saturday, April 1:
2 pm ET – Homegrown Shorts Program 1 – featuring Corvine, Amani, The Untouchable, Junior’s Giant, Soap, Everything Will Be Alright, October 5th, Quiet Minds Silent Streets
4 pm ET – Homegrown Shorts Program 2 – featuring The Temple, There Was Nothing, Bach Ma, Fursona, Call Me Daddy, No Bedroom, The English Teacher, Desi Time Travel
7 pm ET – Polarized(Drama) – Canadian Premiere
Director: Shamim Sarif
Cast: Holly Deveaux, Maxine Denis, Tara Samuel, Adam Hurtig, Hesham Hammoud, Abraham Asto,
North America, present day. In a fading small town, Lisa goes to work at an ‘ urban farm – ’the kind of controlled production that has helped push traditional farms like her family’s out of business. The political climate – leaning against immigrants – feels threatening for the urban farm owners – Dalia and her successful, Muslim family. Weeks before Dalia ’s wedding, a heated encounter between the two women exposes deep prejudices and results in Lisa losing her job. But it’s only the start of an unexpected connection between these two women from the same town, but very different worlds. As the pair face a growing attraction, they will have to break the barriers of race, religion and class that separate them, or risk settling for the lives their families have laid out.
Opening with the short film Rachel and Raha (director Nedda Sarshar, Toronto premiere)
9 pm ET – Wintertide (Drama, Horror, Zombie) – Canadian Premiere (Super Channel Original)
Director: John Barnard
Cast: Niamh Carolan, Solange Sookram, Jeremy Walmsley, Michael O’Sullivan
Beth, a volunteer watch person of an isolated northern city battles a plague of depression that transforms the few remaining residents into empty, zombie-like automatons. She discovers that by entering an alternative dimension through her own dreams, she ’s able to stave off the illness during the long, possibly endless winter. But will her power be enough to sustain her?
Opening with the short film Menace (director Joy Webster, Toronto Premiere)
Sunday, April 2: Rebroadcast of winning films (to be announced)