The exterior of the Ted Rogers cinema

Ted Rogers Cinema | Hot Docs

Spring and summer 2023 film festivals in Ontario

The exterior of the Ted Rogers cinema

Ted Rogers Cinema | Hot Docs

However, film buffs will also be pleased to know there are even more cinematic events in the province.

From short features to acclaimed documentaries, check out these engaging and entertaining film festivals throughout the spring and summer.

Note: Visit each festival’s website for updates as programming can often change with new films and documentaries featured.

Greater Toronto Area (GTA)

TIFF Next Wave Film Festival

Although the signature event takes place in the fall, Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) continues to foster year-round programming and special programs throughout the year.

Next Wave Festival is hosted at the TIFF Bell Lightbox and brings young filmmakers to the forefront for three days with the spotlight on creatives aged 14-26 in various genres of filmmaking.

When: April 14–16, 2023

Location: 350 King Street West, Toronto  

While here: Evenings heat up in the King Street district with a vibrant nightlife while families will want to check out this list of 30 iconic family-friendly attractions in Toronto.

Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival

North America’s largest documentary film festival is celebrating 30 years of superb storytelling by brilliant filmmakers from around the globe.

The festival takes place at the Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema in Toronto’s vibrant Annex neighbourhood.

When: April 27–May 7, 2023

Where:  506 Bloor Street West, Toronto

While here:  The Annex area bustles with a string of restaurants, pubs and shops and attractions along Bloor Street.

Toronto Jewish Film Festival

Jewish culture and experiences are captured through the storytelling of film and documentaries from around the world at this poignant event.

When: June 1–11, 2023

Where: various Toronto venues

Details: Be sure to have a valid email address for online ticket purchase.

While here: If you’re looking for Jewish fare, Free Times Café on College Street hosts an all you can eat Yiddish brunch buffet on Sundays.

International Film Festival of South Asia

North America’s largest South Asian film festival features ten days of music, film networking, grand galas and more informative and entertaining activities promoting South Asian talent.

When: June 8–18, 2023

Where: various venues across the Greater Toronto Area

While here: Get your fill of flavourful South Asian cuisine in Toronto’s Little India neighbourhood.

Toronto Japanese Film Festival

Various genres of Japanese films acclaimed in Japan will be showcased for North American audiences at the Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre.

When: 2023

Where: 6 Garamond Court, North York

While here: Culture lovers will enjoy visiting the Aga Khan Museum close to the Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre. The Diwan is the Aga Khan Museum’s onsite restaurant. Just a short drive away, Shops at the Don Mills have a variety of cuisines, such as Mexican, Asian and Indian.

Toronto Queer Film Festival

With the 2023 theme titled “Queer Wonderlands”, the Toronto Queer Film Festival shares stories from the perspective of queer and trans creators. Various free programs, presentations and discussions will be available to the public. Registration is required.

When: March 23–April 23, 2023

Where: The Toronto Queer Film Festival will be held online this year.

Inside Out Toronto LBGT Film Festival

Toronto and Ottawa host the largest event of its kind that celebrates the 2SLGBTQ+ community in film, challenges attitudes and changes lives in a warm and welcoming space. Emerging filmmakers are given a voice through artist talks, installations and panel discussions at TIFF Bell Lightbox

When: May 25–June 4, 2023

Location:  350 King Street, Toronto

While here: Find great places to stay and eat near the TIFF Bell Lightbox, such as Luma and O&B Canteen.

Georgian Bay

Blue Mountain Film Festival (BMFF)

Blue Mountain invites you on a perfect movie lover’s getaway. Choose from a mix of acclaimed Canadian and international films while also enjoying local attractions.

There’s still time to check out early bird pricing for tickets.

Beyond great films, highlights of the festival include:

  • Cinema-related events
  • Fun parties
  • Outdoor activities

When: June 1–4, 2023

Location: 56 Jozo Weider Boulevard, The Blue Mountains

While here: Choose from great deals and packages at Blue Mountain. Enjoy shopping, dining and endless activities in and around the village. Or follow the Apple Pie Trail to neighbouring communities for local apple-inspired treats.

Cambridge and Waterloo Region

Grand River Film Festival

Waterloo Region’s annual film festival features bold and inspiring films from around the world that generate insightful thought and conversation among movie-goers.

When: May 9–14, 2023

Location: various venues in Cambridge, Kitchener and Waterloo

While here: Find the best places to stay and things to do in the Waterloo Region.

Round out your film festival year with the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) in early September followed by a selection of fall film festivals.

Manitoulin Island

Weengushk International Film Festival (WIFF)

The Weengushk International Film Festival is an important, not for profit, Indigenous-run independent film festival and cultural event. It featuring award winning and burgeoning filmmakers and Indigenous leaders in 57 films, five workshops, four musical performances, opening night and a gala awards event.

When: July 14–16, 2023

Location: Manitoulin Island

Last updated: August 22, 2023

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