The 2019 COMMFFEST will celebrate 14 years from Oct 3-6 screening in movie theatres and exhibition spaces, presented yearly by a group of dedicated volunteers. COMMFFEST a charitable corporation makes its home in one of Toronto’s most fast growing, economically diverse neighbourhood, Old Town Toronto, where many languages are spoken and where memorable films like Robcob; Cinderella Man, Chicago, X-Men, The Hurricane, and Against the Ropes were created.

COMMFFEST is a film festival that presents a broad range of local and international films representing current affairs and relevant issues that affect our society. COMMFFEST provides opportunities for emerging filmmakers, artists, musicians and global community stakeholders to express themselves freely and to connect with audiences on a more personal level. This unique blend of film, filmmakers and audiences creates a dynamic atmosphere to provoke thought and stimulate further understanding and exploration of ideas, attitudes, and emotions that can foster change – starting with the communities in which we live.

The last 14 years Commffest has built a valuable platform for introducing new and emerging filmmakers as well as bring together communities and not for profit organizations with government officials in panel discussions to tackle pertinent issues often resulting in more funding and support for these groups. Commffest is a cultural platform that strives to educate and create a hospitality environment where filmmakers and attendees can mix and mingle over food, drink and entertainment.

Since showcasing her films with Commffest, Eleanor Mc Grath’s films have not only received world wide recognition but acquisition in the broadcast market.

TESTIMONY , Eleanor Mc Grath’s
As an independent film-maker, you work often for a year or possibly years to direct, edit, produce a film and then comes the waiting game to be selected by a film festival. COMMFFEST is more than a community film festival in Toronto; it is an art festival with a world perspective and I am most fortunate to have been part of the 2015 film festival programming with my documentary, "Forgotten". COMMFFEST's vision is to share stories that demonstrate the strength, struggles and beauty of humankind while providing a strong platform for independent film makers to showcase their perspective and vision of our world today and into the future. We need festivals like COMMFFEST who step away from the mainstream and champion works where the viewpoint is critical, enlightened or visionary in their approach to conflicts or issues that prevail throughout Toronto, Canada, North American and worldwide.

Behzad Sedghi Filmmaker
For me, COMMFFEST has been where my films have finally reached their maturity by connecting through the big screen with their audience. It is this connection that is essential for any artistic endeavour. As this may be the case with most other festivals, however, in my direct experience with COMMFFEST I clearly felt that each artist was given special attention, a chance to have a dialogue about their creation and ultimately was embraced in a celebration of their achievement. COMMFFEST founders and organizers are filled with the love of films and arts and clearly possess the vision and generosity to make this celebration happen every year. I look forward to being part of the next celebration either as an artist or a member of its community.

COMMFFEST mission statement:
To advance education by raising the cultural, artistic and aesthetic expression of the community and to advance the public’s appreciation of the arts through related artistic workshops and panel discussions, while promoting the works of filmmakers and artists alike.

The programming: The films are chosen by a jury of professionals from a globally solicited call for submissions. Once chosen, the programming is created to generate discussion around specific world events and themes, provoking dialogue and acceptance of others and their concerns.

More about COMMFFEST
COMMFFEST attracts educators, artists, politicians, business leaders, socially conscious organizations and trendsetters.

Local Educational engagement:
Over 4000 Children from local schools across the GTA that now include the COMMFFEST festival experience as part of their annual curriculum.
COMMFFEST’S unique diversity invites the world to one local community event over several days in Toronto

Commffest is teaming up with the Antigua & Barbuda Film festival which will be held in November 2019 on the exotic Island of Antigua that will foster cross cultural relationships between filmmaker and audiences. All films submitted will be eligible for this festival.

The COMMFFEST AWARDS: Best Film and Honourable Mention are the two categories for the MADA (Making a Difference) Awards. The MADA goes to filmmakers whose work champions’ social good and community enrichment. Whether young or old, seasoned or just beginning, cinematic storytellers are welcomed into COMMFFEST with opportunities to engage and inspire audiences.

FILMS OF ANY GENRES ACCEPTED; independently produced films. Included in that mix are childrens issues, poverty, human rights LGBTQ, women's rights, third world struggles,

All submissions are required to release the information of previous screenings.
In competition: To be considered for our prestigious MADA Award a flat fee is $80.00 for all categories when selected. DO NOT add the regular category as well as the award category. Select yes if you wish to be considered for the award or no if you want only the regular fee.

For Local Filmmakers:
Are expected to promote their films and attend their screenings

To be eligible for awards:
All local filmmakers are expected to promote their films and attend their screenings.
all other filmmakers are required to promote through social media.

Films can not be screened during the same time frame as another festival within that area.


Festival submissions DVDs or online screeners. We accept movie files. MP4's
We do not return items without a self addressed return envelope or package

DVDs must be formatted in MPEG-2 video for Region 1/North America or Region 0/ “no region, i.e., that the DVD is authored as a video DVD and is NOT burned as a data disk containing Quicktime or other similar file formats. DVDs must be labeled with the following:
o Title
o Production Company
o Company Address
o Telephone Number
o Director’s Name
o Length in Minutes
o FilmFreeway Tracking Number

Please test your DVDs thoroughly before sending. Please avoid excessive packaging and the inclusion of any materials other than what are specified.
for those using Fedex DHL PUROLATER or any other mail system be sure to mark "non commercial use and a value of under $10.00 dollars.
Please avoid Fedex ground.


COMMFFEST COMMUNITY FILM FESTIVAL is hereby granted the right to utilize an excerpt from any film submitted and accepted for exhibition at the Festival for promotional purposes.

The individual or corporation submitting the film hereby warrants that it is authorized to commit the film for screening, and understands and accepts these requirements and regulations.

The undersigned shall indemnify and hold harmless COMMFFEST COMMUNITY FILM FESTIVAL from and against any and all claims, liabilities, losses, damages, and expenses (including but not limited to attorney's fees, and costs of the court) which may be incurred by reason of any claim involving copyright, trademark, credits, publicity, screening, and loss of or damage to the screening videos entered.

Overall Rating
  • Firdaus F. Bilimoria

    Great festival with a unique focus unlike other festivals on important social and community issues, very relevant for the current times. Great festival experience and vibe.

    October 2018
  • Thomas Nazario

    It was an honor to be selected by this festival and be featured in your Commffest Kidds Program so young people have a chance to see our film. I am only sorry we could not attend in person, but I appreciated the communication from the festival and would recommend it highly. Congratulations to all the filmmakers and continued success to the festival! Thank you!

    October 2018
  • vipin raghuwanshi

    Excellent Superb Amazing Wonderful Killer

    October 2017
  • Sangita Iyer

    Thank you so very much from the bottom of my heart for organizing such a unique festival, in that, you thoughtfully structured the screenings and timings to suit various audiences. I for one, was deeply moved by the perfect audience you chose for my documentary Gods in Shackles – students, the future generation who we need to empower to protect our priceless natural treasures. Because of your dedication the theater was almost packed with brilliant students who had so many intelligent questions, I only wish the school had arranged a bit more time for the interactions. Naturally, they had to return for their afternoon classes, but still it was so much fun to connect with them for the brief time that I did.

    Commffest also went ahead and organized a wonderful award ceremony, served drinks and food so generously, offering a casual atmosphere to interact with other filmmakers and do some networking. These kinds of intimate interactions are difficult, if not impossible, in commercial film festivals that seem to be more concerned about profits and glitz and glamour, rather than the true purpose and meaning of a film festival – which is, to not only present films that provide entertainment, but also offer a platform for meaningful documentaries that matter at this critical time in our planet’s history. We are facing unprecedented socio-economic-ecological challenges and people seem to be disconnected from the root causes of these issues. And so, Commffest provided the platform that’s unavailable in other festivals.

    With the small team of volunteers and board members, including the wonderful Sandie de Freitas who basically did almost everything with the help of a couple of volunteers, and Norman Hart, who did a tremendous job as a photographer, I think Commffest was a grand success. My deepest gratitude to you from the depth of my soul for putting in your heart and soul, blood and sweat into producing this wonderful film festival.

    Onward and Upward!
    Yours sincerely,
    Sangita Iyer
    Executive Producer & Director
    Gods in Shackles

    October 2016
    Response from festival:

    Thank you;
    Sangita, It was a pleasure working with you.


    My film was accepted at this prestigious festival and I was honored. While I was unable to actually go to Toronto for my screening, I must say give this festival a multitude of stars for their incredible communication! Emails always answered, phone calls always returned. They are organized!

    October 2016
    Response from festival:

    Thank you so very much for your response. It was a pleasure working with you.