Connect and Create at TIFF: Viola Desmond Day, Deep Focus Workshop Series, and Next Wave 48-Hour Film Challenge

This fall at TIFF, join fellow film lovers and emerging creators at a number of youth- and community-centred events designed to spark connection, creativity, and inspiration

Viola Desmond Day: Jennifer Holness on Subjects of Desire

Monday, November 8, 7pm
TIFF Bell Lightbox, Cinema 1


On November 8, 1946, in a Nova Scotia movie theatre, Viola Desmond made a historic stand against racial segregation. To commemorate the 75th anniversary of her action and subsequent court case, as well as her barrier-breaking work as founder of the Desmond School of Beauty Culture, TIFF proudly presents a special advance screening of the award-winning documentary Subjects of Desire, followed by a conversation with director Jennifer Holness. This provocative and culturally significant film is told from the perspective of women who aren’t afraid to challenge conventional beauty standards, and is partially set around the 50th anniversary of the Miss Black America Pageant, which was created as a political protest against dominant standards upheld by the beauty pageant industry.

We work to make our programming accessible, and have set aside a number of free tickets for this event. If cost is a barrier, please get in touch with us at least 72 hours before the event to access one of these tickets:

TIFF Next Wave 48-Hour Film Challenge

Launch Event: Friday, November 19, 11am–12:30pm
TIFF Bell Lightbox, Cinema 3


48 hours, 24 teams, 1 grand prize. Grab some friends and sign up for this exciting challenge to write, shoot, edit, and submit an original short film in only 48 hours.

Purchase a ticket to register your team in this event. This ticket claims your team’s spot in the competition and includes admission to the 48-Hour Film Challenge Screening on Sunday, November 28.

This event is open to youth ages 14–28. Up to three registered filmmakers will act as the “Core Team.” A team registers by purchasing one ticket online starting November 3 (October 27 for TIFF Members). The ticket price (that is, the registration fee) is $25 per team. Within four business days of purchase, the primary team contact will be sent a registration form via email by There is a capacity of 24 teams. Purchase your ticket before the event sells out!

Questions? Email us at

Deep Focus: Narrative Sovereignty and Social Media

Wednesday, Nov 24, 6pm–7:30pm ET
Live on Zoom
Please register via the form here


We’re teaming up with artist and community-based educator Zoey Roy and Jess Bolduc from The 4Rs Youth Movement for an interactive session about the crucial need for Indigenous narrative sovereignty in film, media, and the reconciliation movement — and how TikTok and other digital media platforms can support Indigenous storytelling and self-determination as well as cross-cultural solidarity. Join the 4Rs as they show some love to their favorite Indigenous content creators, and lead participants in reflective practices that can help them to connect more deeply with their authentic narrative(s). Participants will be invited to share their responses in supportive small- and large-group discussions.

This workshop will be hosted live on Zoom. Participation is open to all, but capacity is limited and priority will be given to registrants who self-identify as BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and/or people of colour). Contact for more information.

TIFF strives to be accessible to all our patrons. For information, please visit our website. For more information on all TIFF programming, check out our Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.


™ Toronto International Film Festival Inc., used under license.