38 Films Directed by Women of Colour at TIFF 2017

The Drop In - Directed by Naledi Jackson. TIFF 2017. Film.
Meditation Park - Directed by Mina Shum. TIFF 2017. Film.
Meditation Park directed by Mina Shum

It’s that time of year again! The Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) is gearing up for another round of great films. I’ve been attending the festival since 2012 (except 2016 but that was mostly due to strep), and I’ve been tweaking the types of films I plan to see with my limited time and funds. It began with a mix of international indie films (Watchtower from Turkey) and films that would appear in theatres weeks later (The Perks of Being a Wallflower). Then I realized I wanted to watch more women behind the camera, especially women of colour.

This year that’s gotten much easier, because TIFF has made a commitment to screening more films by women.

TIFF has made a five-year commitment to increasing participation, skills, and opportunities for women behind and in front of the camera. Join the movement by donating today to Share Her Journey and help TIFF empower female voices.

“By supporting female filmmakers, you can make sure the stories women are longing to hear are told truthfully,” says Share Her Journey ambassador Omoni Oboli. “Not only does it empower the filmmakers, but it also helps an audience to see the possibilities of women, instead of our limitations.”

Sasha James, TIFF

33.6% of the films at this year’s festival are directed by women with female directors making up 42% of the short films and Platform (a direct-driven program) has achieved gender parity. I can’t help but think of Justin Trudeau’s famous “because it’s 2015” comment — but progress isn’t just about the physical passage of time but the time we put into the progress we want to see in our world and in our entertainment.

Creatura Dada directed by Caroline Monnet. TIFF 2017. Short Films. Films.
Creatura Dada directed by Caroline Monnet

So I will do my share by offering you a list of women of colour who have directed films that will appear at this year’s festival. This is important because women of colour tend to be left out of the gender conversation when executives and others want to check the woman box on their diversity card. You can check out the entire list of female directors on the TIFF post that I’ve quoted from above. I hope you’ll enjoy the list below and maybe even check out these films if you happen to be at the festival.

Enjoy TIFF and expect to see some coverage from the WWAC team!

Ardo Omer

Ardo Omer

Former WWAC editor. Current curmudgeon and Batman's personal assistant. Icon art by Diana Sim.