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November 3, 2005

New International Deaf Film/Arts Festival takes City by Storm

From: JAM Productions - Nov 3, 2005

October, 2005 Toronto, ON

Attn: Life, Arts & Culture, Film, Entertainment and Education Editors/Segment Producers. Photo Op available Thurs Nov 10, 2005 or through special arrangement.



The First annual Toronto International Deaf Film & Arts Festival (TIDFAF) hosted by The Ontario Cultural Society for the Deaf (OCSD)

TIDFAF is the first festival of its kind to take place in Toronto, ON. On Thurs November, 10, 2005 TIDFAF will host a star-studded, schmooze media/community launch fundraiser event at the Prefix Institute of Contemporary Art (401 Richmond, Suite 124) from 6:00-10:00p.m. and all local, national media and community members are invited to cover the event!

RSVP at Suggested donation of $10.00 at the door for general admission (not applicable to media).

TIDFAF’s Festival Director Catherine MacKinnon—Ryerson university graduate and award-winning filmmaker of the 2004 I’m Not From Hear which has since won awards locally (Abilities Festival) and internationally says the festival is necessary to bridge the gap between hearing, Deaf community members and artists. "This festival brings together the best artists from across the globe to share in their experiences as Deaf artists. Not only are we creating films about Deaf culture but we are also simply creating films and artwork about life—universal issues we all experience simply by being human," says MacKinnon. TIDFAF has already received submissions and interest from Europe, U.S, Africa, Japan and Sweden just to name a few.

"The collaboration between film and visual arts at TIDFAF again demonstrates the diverse range of artistic integrity and expression alive and thriving within the Deaf community. This festival will help to jumpstart the careers of many Deaf artists who may not have the same equal opportunities for their artwork in everyday mainstream festivals," says Kelly Halligan, TIDFAF Arts Director.

The launch party will include the unveiling of a 30-second exclusive trailer in celebration of TIDFAF, the Canadian premiere of AfterImage featuring award-winning Los Angeles Deaf actress Terrylene (Natural Born Killers, ER, Cagney & Lacey…), as well as a silent auction. The silent auction will include the works of Deaf artists, gift certificates and other community donations all in the hopes of raising funds for future campaigns to help increase the awareness of Deaf culture and arts.

The annual TIDFAF will take place from May 10-14, 2006. TIDFAF films will be screened at the Isabel Theatre, Victoria College at U of T. The arts exhibit will be held at the coming Deaf Culture Centre at the Distillery District.

"We are so excited to be the first ones to bring such an international festival to the city. We appreciate all the support we’ve received and we look forward to your attendance and your feedback," says Karyn Goldstein, OCSD Board Member and TIDFAF General Manager.


Catherine MacKinnon (Festival Director), Karyn Goldstein (TIDFAF General Manager) and Kelly Halligan (Arts Director) as well as local Deaf actresses, community leaders and artists are available for print, TV and radio interviews. **INTERPRETERS can be arranged through TIDFAF board for the purpose of all interviews.

Potential Media Topics:

Arts & Disability. Current trends...emerging themes.
How to start your own festival. The nuts and bolts of festival management, development and funding.
The scope of international film and visual artists within the Deaf community.
The mainstream portrayal of disabled artists in various art mediums.
How one Ryerson graduate made her festival dream a reality
TIDFAF on film mentoring programs and other arts services for people with disabilities.
For media interviews please contact:

Jill Andrew, JAM Productions, Director

416-540-6659 Cc:

To RSVP for Thurs Nov 10 visit

Toronto International Deaf Film & Arts Festival (TIDFAF)