5 Travel-Worthy Canadian Film Festivals

As the Toronto International Film Festival kicks off its 2018 edition, we’ve rounded up five other Canadian film festivals worth checking out. No passport required.

1 / 6
Best Canadian film festivals
Photo: Vincent Frechette

5 Canadian Film Festivals Worth Checking Out

Every September, movie lovers from around the world head to the Toronto International Film Festival to watch the latest award-worthy films and spot celebrities on the red carpet. But TIFF is hardly the only movie event in Canada! From outside-the-box genre films to animated gems, these five Canadian film festivals offer complete moviegoing experiences—no passport required.

2 / 6
Fantasia International Film Festival
Photo: Vincent Frechette

Fantasia International Film Festival

Every July, cinephiles storm Montreal’s Fantasia International Film Festival for its incredible line-up of foreign films. The 2018 edition featured the Canadian premiere of the bloody and bizarre Mandy (starring Nicolas Cage in a much-acclaimed performance), the North American premiere of David Robert Mitchell’s neo-noir Under the Silver Lake, and the world premiere of Blumhouse slasher Hurt. To get the most bang for you buck, purchase the 20-Ticket Booklet for only $180 CAD. The best part? Fantasia lets you soak in some of Montreal’s most beautiful attractions in-between screenings.

3 / 6
Ottawa International Animation Festival
Photo: Ottawa International Animation Festival

Ottawa International Animation Festival

Are you a fan of classic cartoons and innovative new animation? Then head to the Ottawa International Animation Festival, running this year for five days from Sept. 26-30. The festival’s Animapass sells for $235 CAD, giving you access to regular screenings, workshops, parties, award ceremonies, and the chance to mingle with famous animation directors and studios. Founded in 1976, the OIAF is also known for its family-friendly activities and art exhibitions.

Here are four reasons to fall in love with Ottawa this winter.

4 / 6
Calgary Underground Film Festival
Photo: Mike Tan

Calgary Underground Film Festival

Taking place April 22-28 next year, the Calgary Underground Film Festival is for movie lovers looking for something wild and weird. Founded in 2003, a dizzying array of independent horror, science fiction, fantasy and comedy films have shown at CUFF throughout its history, including 2013’s controversial Hard to Be a God. Last year’s edition offered festival passes for $120 CAD.

While in Cowtown, be sure to check out the city’s eclectic restaurant and arts scene.

5 / 6
Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival
Photo: Gabriel Li

Hot Docs Film Festival

The biggest documentary festival in North America, Toronto’s Hot Docs presents a selection of films that’s sure to impress any fan of non-fiction storytelling. The festival takes place in a century-old landmark theatre—the Hot Docs Cinema—located in the Annex neighbourhood, as well as TIFF Bell Lightbox and other theatres. The festival runs from April 25 to May 5 in 2019.

These are Toronto’s most culturally significant attractions.

6 / 6
Atlantic Film Festival
Photo: Atlantic Film Festival

Atlantic International Film Festival

Running this year from Sept. 13-20, the Atlantic International Film Festival puts a spotlight on Canadian east coast directors. Need more convincing? Here’s what the festival’s executive director, Wayne Carter, has to say: “As Atlantic Canada’s curator of epic and unforgettable stories, this year’s program delivers like never before. Incredible regional films sit alongside some of the best the screens of the world have to offer to ensure our audiences are going to be wowed in a major way.”

Next, check out these 10 essential east coast experiences.

Newsletter Unit