The Purpose of Reelworld is to Promote Diversity Among All Minorities


CANADA (Sasha Stoltz Publicity): In 2004, Bobby Del Rio won a Trailblazer award at the Reelworld Film Festival, and six years later, he is now one of the programmers as the film festival celebrates its 10th anniversary starting with a press conference a week from Thursday at the Canada Square Theatre. “Canada is a multi-cultural country. We have so many different races” Bobby states. “We have a lot of films in the States; maybe there’s a possibility it can be done.”

Reelworld was founded back in 2000 by Tonya Lee Williams, who is best known for her long-running role as Dr. Olivia Williams on the top-rated daytime soap opera The Young & The Restless, and her recent recurring role on the CBC drama The Border. The purpose of Reelworld is to promote diversity among all minorities – African-Americans, Asians, Latinos, etc. – in the Canadian film industry while showcasing their talents and networking in the process.

“What I used to hear is that Reelworld is a black festival” Bobby said. “A lot of different cultures are starting to embrace Reelworld. What’s happening is you see a lot of films for everyone. Some people are looking for art films. For me, I’m looking for something that has commercial value.”

But how is Reelworld different from Sundance?

“Sundance is one of the best film festivals. Reelworld’s real strength is its focus; it’s one of the only film festivals to embrace all cultures” Bobby answers. “We’re looking for films that a lot of people will like. Tonya is good at promoting local talent. She’s pretty clear with the mandate. As long as we’re based in Toronto, she wants to support the people.

“We have a lot of opportunities for lesser known filmmakers; that’s how you sell tickets.”

The 10th Annual Reelworld Film Festival will take place in Toronto from April 7-11 with regular screenings at the Canada Square Theatre and gala screenings at the Scotiabank Theatre. Passes are currently on sale; to purchase them, go online to, email them at [email protected] or call them at 416-599-7933.

Garrett Godwin is an entertainment journalist, who writes for NewsBlaze about television and people in the entertainment industry, from his home state of Michigan. Contact Garrett by writing to NewsBlaze.