CFC Celebrates Alumni Talent at TIFF 2021

Posted: Aug 27, 2021

We’re gearing up for one of the most highly anticipated events in the film year – the Toronto International Film Festival. CFC alumni projects have always had a strong presence at the festival, which has a history of supporting and celebrating Canadian talent and creators. We are pleased to see so much CFC alumni talent at this year’s fest, which runs from September 9-18. What’s more – this year, audiences will be able to view these alumni films (and more!) in person or from the comfort of their home, with TIFF offering in-person screenings as well as the return of the digital TIFF Bell Lightbox.

CFC alumni are involved in 10 features, shorts and/or series in Official Selection at TIFF 2021, from Short Cuts to Galas; Discovery to Primetime. See the full list below and visit to plan your watchlist and get your tickets.

CFC warmly congratulates all of its alumni participating in this year’s festival!


Two sisters look off into the distance, while standing beside each other on a grass field in front of an old barn

All My Puny Sorrows

  • In Night Raiders, writer/director Danis Goulet, this year’s TIFF Emerging Talent Award recipient, draws on Canada’s ugly colonial legacy for a piece of genre cinema set in a dystopian postwar future, starring Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers, from producer Paul Barkin, executive producer Kyle Irving, and edited by Jorge Weisz.
  • Tyler Levine is a producer on All My Puny Sorrows, the adaptation of Miriam Toews’ novel, which follows the story of two Mennonite sisters who have left their strict religious upbringing behind, co-edited by Orlee Buium.


Benjamin Sutherland (right) in Kicking Blood

  • Kicking Blood, about a female vampire who is inspired to kick blood and become human again when she inadvertently helps a charming alcoholic become clean, stars actor alum Benjamin Sutherland, and was co-written by Leonard Farlinger, edited by Matt Lyon, with casting by Nicole Hilliard-Forde.


A man standing up holding a saxophone in a dimly lit room

Thomas Antony Olajide in Learn to Swim

  • Learn to Swim, the debut feature from Thyrone Tommy, charts the stormy romance between two very different contemporary jazz musicians, and features a host of CFC alumni involvement, including co-writer Marni Van Dyk, producer Alona Metzer, associate producers Lindsay Blair Goeldner and Mark Andrew Sirju, executive producer Matt Code, editors Baun Mah and Shaun Rykiss, starring Thomas Antony Olajide, with music editing by Simon Poole and original songs by TiKA and Casey MQ
  • Quickening, the debut feature from writer-director Haya Waseem explores the life of a young woman of colour navigating love, heartbreak, and family turmoil, with music by composer Spencer Creaghan.
  • Rich Williamson co-directed Scarborough, the adaptation of Catherine Hernandez’s award-winning book, which follows the story of three kids in a low-income neighbourhood who find friendship and community in an unlikely place, with music by composer Rob Teehan.
  • In Wildhood, from writer-director Bretten Hannam, Link and his brother flee their abusive father and embark on a journey where Link discovers his sexuality and rediscovers his Mi’kmaw heritage; produced by Gharrett Patrick Paon, executive produced by Damon D’Oliveira, edited by Shaun Rykiss, featuring Joel Thomas Hynes, with music by composer Neil Haverty.


A gender-fluid individual smiles and looks to the left

Sort Of

  • Sort Of, a refreshing comedy about a young gender-fluid caregiver, whose life plans are disrupted when tragedy strikes the family they help to maintain, features episodes directed by Renuka Jeyapalan, writing by Jenn Engels, is produced by Jennifer Kawaja and stars Supinder Wraich


Two people stand on their bicycles in the middle of the streets, looking up

Khadijah Roberts-Abdullah and CFC alum Araya Mengesha in DEFUND

  • Starring in and directing their own script in DEFUND, Khadijah Roberts-Abdullah and CFC alum Araya Mengesha play twins trying to navigate their own, and each other’s, complex responses to both the lockdown and the fight for racial justice during the long hot summer of 2020.
  • In Bhai, from writer-director Hamza Bangash, two brothers go out to celebrate amid the bustle of Karachi on Pakistan’s Independence Day.

CFC alumni will also have a presence at the 2021 TIFF Industry Conference:

  • PERSPECTIVES Reset: Dismantling Toxic Behaviours On Set and in the Industry: Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers is one of the creators who will share personal experiences of how she is creating a more equitable and inclusive industry by advocating for structural change on set.
  • CONNECTIONS Working with CBC Films: Mehernaz Lentin, Senior Director at CBC Films, discusses the various ways that filmmakers can work with the national public broadcaster through funding, pre-buys, acquisitions, and the TIFF–CBC Films Screenwriter Award.
  • CONNECTIONS Creating Authentic and Inclusive Content with the Black Screen Office: Joan Jenkinson, Executive Director of the Black Screen Office, will share insights from the organization’s national study with under-represented groups, Being Seen: A Directive for Creating Authentic and Inclusive Content.

Connections moderators include alum Cory Bowles, Lisa Jackson and CFC/Netflix Project Development Accelerator participant Jasmin Mozaffari.

TIFF 2021 Industry Selects
  • Reem Morsi‘s The Last Mark is one of this year’s Industry Selects
Full schedule and ticket details are available at

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