Viola Desmond Day & Fall 2023 Public Programming at TIFF

Celebrate Viola Desmond Day and check out free films, art, opportunities, and more. Join fellow film lovers and emerging creators this month to explore the many facets of film as a medium for creative self-expression, skills development, and social connection through Public Programming at TIFF.

Here to Stay: Viola Desmond Day Exhibition by Nia Centre for the Arts

November 8 – December 10, 2023
Open during TIFF regular box office hours
TIFF Bell Lightbox (350 King Street West, Toronto), atrium (first floor)
Find out more here.

Nia Centre for the Arts presents Here to Stay, an exercise in taking up space ― giving Black Canadian creativity a home.

What does it mean to take up space? How is space created? Who is allowed to occupy it, and in what ways?

Here to Stay is an experiential exploration into the concept and existence of Black spaces. Across Toronto, Black communities have forged formal and informal spaces to build community and engage in advocacy, education, and celebration. These spaces, while largely unrecognized, have undeniably shaped our city’s culture. Against a backdrop of development and rapid changes in the city’s physical landscape, this mixed-media installation will use Nia Centre’s newly renovated arts facility as a reference point for Black space ― exploring what was, what is, and what will be.

This exhibition extends and amplifies TIFF’s Viola Desmond Day in-cinema event on November 8, animating the TIFF Bell Lightbox atrium.

Nia Centre for the Arts is Canada’s first professional Black Arts Centre. Located in Toronto’s historically Afro-Caribbean neighbourhood, Little Jamaica- the centre supports, showcases, and promotes arts from the Black Canadian diaspora.

Nia Centre has redeveloped their building at 524 Oakwood Ave into a renewed professional arts facility. This hub offers the Black Canadian community art exhibition space, a multi-disciplinary performance theatre, digital arts incubation studios and programming space for professional artists and young creatives.

Ava DuVernay captured by Norman Wong in the Official #TIFF23 Portrait Studio at Fairmont Royal York, powered by Canon Canada (2023)

Viola Desmond Day screening of Origin and talk with director Ava DuVernay

November 8, 2023 | 7–10pm
TIFF Bell Lightbox (350 King Street West, Toronto)
Get tickets here.

To commemorate the 77th anniversary of Viola Desmond’s historic stand against racial segregation in Canada, TIFF proudly presents a special screening of Ava DuVernay’s inspired adaptation, Origin (TIFF ’23 Official Selection). The film follows Isabel Wilkerson’s life as she digs into the nuance of discrimination while writing what would become her New York Times bestselling book, Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents. This screening will be followed by an in-person conversation with Ava DuVernay.

We work to make our programming accessible and have set aside a number of free tickets for this event. If you represent a community group that would like to access some of these tickets, please get in touch with us by emailing

Open Screen: Opportunity for emerging filmmakers to share and receive feedback

November 29, 2023 | 6pm
TIFF Bell Lightbox (350 King Street West, Toronto)
Learn more here.

Open Screen invites emerging filmmakers to share something on screen that they’ve created with a community of supportive peers. It can be a finished project or a work-in-progress, something they’ve screened before, or something they’ve been sitting on for a while. Filmmakers will receive helpful feedback and perspective on their work after it plays on the big screen.

To screen work as part of this event, your film must not exceed six minutes in length. You’re welcome to show a section of a larger project. This event is free and open to all creators to attend, whether you’re showing work or not.

If you have a short film that you want to share, or to request a ticket, please register via the Google Form here by Monday, November 20. The screen is yours.

Open Screen is co-presented by TIFF Next Wave, Future of Film Showcase, and POV. This event is generously supported by the RBC Foundation, in support of RBC Emerging Artists.

We are committed to creating space for emerging creators from equity-seeking communities. Priority for this event will be given to registrants who self-identify as BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and/or people of colour) and/or 2SLGBTQ+ youth. Contact for more information, or to discuss specific access needs.

Silver Screenings: Phoenix event brings seniors together to connect with fellow film lovers

November 17, 2023 | 1pm
TIFF Bell Lightbox (350 King Street West, Toronto)
Learn more here.

Each month, the Silver Screenings free series brings seniors together to connect with fellow film lovers and participate in a variety of events, including peer-led film discussions, interactive workshops, and classes. These activities will focus on specific themes to encourage community-building around a shared experience, and will provide a safe and supportive environment for creative self-expression. Develop new skills, find your next favourite movie, and meet new people!

On November 17 at 11am, Silver Screenings will be hosting a free screening of Phoenix for seniors 65+. This screening will have English subtitles.

Following the screening, there will be the opportunity to take part in an accompanying activity.

Short Films, Big Ideas

Ongoing; access anytime
Rent for free from the digital TIFF Bell Lightbox.

Featuring a diverse range of stories and styles, Short Films, Big Ideas showcases films from local creators about community through art, identity, and friendship.

Contact information:
Contact for more information or to discuss specific access needs. TIFF strives to be accessible to all our patrons.

Programming information is available at
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