2021 Banner

Free for Students and 60+

Free tickets, courtesy of CBC Gem, will be available for audience members who are 60+ or students* during the 2021 Festival, streaming across Canada April 29 to May 9.

Each day, a limited number of free tickets for the day’s film(s) will be available starting at 10 AM, while supplies last. To get tickets:

  • On the appropriate day, click the “Learn More & Get a Ticket” button to go to the film page
  • On the film page, click the “Get Ticket” button
  • Select the “Stream – Free Student/60+” ticket option
  • Proceed through the checkout process and finalize your order.

*Students must be currently enrolled at an accredited post-secondary institution.
Additional films will be announced during the Festival.

Free tickets courtesy of
CBC Gem


Upcoming Films

Cannon Arm 1 New

SUNDAY, MAY 9 // Cannon Arm and the Arcade Quest

  • Denmark
  • 97
    Director:
  • Mads Hedegaard
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Kim Cannon Arm is not your average grandpa. With killer hand-eye coordination and a mean mullet, he's a legendary fixture at Copenhagen's Bip Bip Bar, and renowned for playing the 80s arcade game Gyrrus for 49 hours straight on a single coin. With help from his buddies at the bar, a community of heroic outsiders who support one another no matter what, Kim attempts to obliterate his previous record and play for 100 consecutive hours. Dense with nerdy narration and deep thoughts, quantum physics and pattern recognition, this quest follows Kim and the gang as they apply their collective knowledge to the task at hand—leaving their mark on the world and paying tribute to a fallen friend. Exploding with 8-bit flair, this quirky comedy about friendship expands the spectrum of what constitutes success and social norms. This is Rocky for fighters who use their wrists instead of fists and the muscle between their ears! Angie Driscoll


Past Films

Nikes Big Bet 1

FRIDAY, APRIL 30 // Nike's Big Bet

  • Canada
  • 80
  • CC
    Director:
  • Paul Kemp
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Nike established the Oregon Project in 2001 as a groundbreaking program to develop elite runners and put Americans back on top of the podium. Coaching legend Alberto Salazar was put in charge of the program and given free reign to employ his unorthodox tactics to deliver results. In 2019, despite never failing a drug test and his athletes never testing positive, he received a four-year doping ban from all coaching activities and the project immediately collapsed. To his fans, including an outspoken Malcolm Gladwell, Salazar's methods justified the means by pushing the boundaries of what's fair in sport. But to others, including former protégés, he was abusive and manipulative—wielding an unchecked control over their careers and well-being. With a win-at-all-costs attitude and a sport built upon the margins of human limits, is Salazar really a villain or a victim of a corporate culture that would do anything for a competitive edge? Alexander Rogalski

Colonels Stray Dogs 2

SATURDAY, MAY 1 // The Colonel's Stray Dogs

  • South Africa, Libya, Qatar
  • 73
    Director:
  • Khalid Shamis
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For 40 years, Ashur Shamis lived in exile in a quaint London suburb, organizing against the Libyan government and Muammar Gaddafi. Identified as enemy number one, he fled the country in hopes of raising his family in comfort and stability while actively pursuing change for his homeland. After the 2011 Libyan revolution and fall of Gaddafi, Shamis finally returned home to the beloved country of his fantasy, free from the grip of a dictator. Upon arriving, he realized the land he desperately worked to liberate was not the same one he left behind many years ago—and he experienced a crushing second exile as local politics took a new direction without his lead. Now, nearly a decade later, his son Khalid picks up the camera to direct this personal and political story about his undying patriotism and what it means to fight for a country that no longer needs you. Samah Ali

Story Wont Die 1

SUNDAY, MAY 2 // The Story Won't Die

  • Denmark, Germany, USA
  • 83
    Director:
  • David Henry Gerson
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Revolution in exile is an everyday practice for four artists after fleeing their homeland due to the Syrian uprising. Surviving the largest displacement of refugees in modern history creates a difficult path for those rebuilding their lives, but a rapper, dancer, visual artist and punk-rock musician choose to express their experiences through their art. Residing in different parts of Europe, these four artists reflect on life before and after the war. Rather than staying quiet or trying to forget, they remain uncensored as they use their creativity to resist the Syrian government from abroad. These are their lives and their story will never die. Samah Ali

Includes special extended Q&A with director David Henry Gerson, artist and activist Shepard Fairey, and film subjects Diala Brisly and Abu Hajar, moderated by Peter Debruge, chief film critic for Variety.

Fruits Of Labor 2

MONDAY, MAY 3 // Fruits of Labor

  • USA
  • 76
  • CC
    Director:
  • Emily Cohen Ibañez
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California high schooler Ashley Solis works in the fields to help her family survive. She is the oldest and traditionally her job is to care for her siblings, though Ashley is struggling to finish her senior year and graduate from high school. She's weighed down by fears of deportation, job insecurity, poverty and an unknown future—yet this beautiful story has a natural sense of realism and hope. Ashley's resilience, optimism and commitment to building a better life for herself and her family is told with great nuance and compassion by director Emily Cohen Ibañez, who utilizes Ashley's own words to share the story of a young woman of colour stepping into her power and potential. Darlene Naponse

Apart 1

TUESDAY, MAY 4 // Apart

  • USA
  • 85
  • CC
    Director:
  • Jennifer Redfearn
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Mothers Tomika, Lydia and Amanda rebuild their lives inside prison as they await their release, living in constant fear of losing their families and children. Their stories address social issues of poverty, abandonment and addiction. As the women strive to change their lives, the system around them continues to ignore the opioid crisis. In moments of reconciliation, they are helped by the kindness of formerly incarcerated Malika and a re-entry program designed to help set them on a path to overcoming trauma and reconnecting with their families. But they cannot erase the hardships of their past, and they are constantly hit with the realities of their present. With great intimacy and insight, Apart offers a portrait of healing and change, while also driving home the stark reality of a judicial system that so often focuses on punishment over rehabilitation. Darlene Naponse

Vicenta 3

WEDNESDAY, MAY 5 // Vicenta

  • Argentina
  • 69
    Director:
  • Darío Doria
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Amid Argentina's oppressive abortion laws unfolds the harrowing human rights story of Vicenta, who discovers that her 16-year-old daughter Laura, who is mentally and physically disabled, has been raped by her uncle and is now pregnant. With few resources, isolated in her fight, Vicenta attempts to navigate a political system with extreme views against abortion that impact medical systems so severely that the doctors express they cannot perform the abortion without the "father's" consent. Desperate, she takes her story to air on television. As mass pro-choice and anti-abortion demonstrations ensue, three women emerge from the shadows to support her cause, taking her case to the UN. Acclaimed director Darío Doria takes an unconventional approach to filmmaking by using Plasticine models infused with live-action news clips. With subtle shifts of light and controlled camera movements, he powerfully conveys the deep emotion of the characters in this poignant story of human tragedy and political scandal. Heather Haynes

Courage 1

THURSDAY, MAY 6 // Courage

  • Germany, Belarus
  • 90
    Director:
  • Aliaksei Paluyan
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August, 2020: During the presidential elections in Minsk, Belarus, three actors take to the streets and use theatre to protest for change. "Art must accumulate, art must have an explosion." Through their work, they give voice to the people in their demand for a long-awaited change of government power, despite great personal risk. While the regime continues to silence those who speak up, and members of the theatre group are arrested, Maryna, Pavel and Denis transform stories of courage and protest into action through performance. Courage is an urgent and necessary portrait of a country on the brink of civil war, providing deep insight into the Belarus of today. Darlene Naponse

Faith And Branko 1

FRIDAY, MAY 7 // Faith and Branko

  • Serbia, UK
  • 82
    Director:
  • Catherine Harte
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While eagerly learning to play fantastic Roma music in Serbia, Faith, a free-spirited British artist, falls hard for Branko, a young Roma violinist. Passionate and collaborative, their onstage chemistry fuels explosive performances and a star-crossed love affair. Dreaming of the music they will make together, the pair overlook language and geographic barriers, and marry. But after living with her new husband's old-world family and traditions, it isn't long before Faith misses the road. Despite his misgivings about leaving home for the first time, Branko borrows some of his wife's confidence and they take their double act on tour. Creating together, living on the move and challenging themselves as artists sets their music alight, but tests their marriage in an unexpected way. Are the adoring crowds, sizzling performances and their white-hot passion enough to keep the music playing? Open hearts and a pumping soundtrack fuel this tender look at two artists in love. Myrocia Watamaniuk

Nothing But The Sun 2

SATURDAY, MAY 8 // Nothing but the Sun

  • Switzerland, Uruguay
  • 75
    Director:
  • Arami Ullón
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In the 1960s, missionaries forcibly uprooted Ayoreo communities within Paraguay from their rich and vast forested ancestral homes to the arid and desolate Paraguayan Chaco region. Since the 1970s, Mateo Sobode Chiqueno, also Ayoreo, has been recording the stories, songs and experiences of the people within his community who experienced the relocation. What do their lives look like now? Through gentle conversations, Mateo records the memories and lived experiences of his community. Like many colonial governments, profits are prized over people, and with a thriving agricultural and cattle ranching industry, Paraguay chooses denialism in the face of the destruction and dislocation of Ayoreo communities. As the population ages and people become more disassociated with their language and culture, Mateo's work becomes ever more pressing as he attempts to preserve the fragments that are left, in hopes that from the memories, a resurgence will bloom. Heather Haynes

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