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Toronto International Film Festival Raising Money for Female Filmmakers

Female led films will be out front at the 2017 Toronto Film Festival.

By Sean PatrickPublished 6 years ago 3 min read

The Toronto International Film Festival is highlighting women in front of and behind the camera at this year’s festival. In an effort to raise money to support female filmmakers, organizers of the Toronto Film Festival have begun a charity drive. The announcement was made via a statement from Festival Vice President Maxine Bailey who also announced that all donations made are being matched by Festival supporters Beth Anne-Heggie and Anne Marie Canning.

The announcement comes as more of the Toronto International Film Festival lineup is coming to light and we’re seeing larger numbers of female led film step into the spotlight. TIFF 2017 is set to feature contributions from Angelina Jolie, Greta Gerwig, Mary Herron and Dee Rees among others as women take center stage at one of the most important festivals of the Awards season.

Among the highlights people can look forward to at the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival, is the latest film from 28-year-old Canadian rising star producer Erika Olde. Olde made her name Executive Producing for Natalie Portman on A Tale of Love and Darkness and became so sought after that she has four features in progress toward the big screen including Reese Witherspoon’s upcoming comedy Home Again. Olde will be at TIFF with the movie Woman WalksAhead which is directed by Susannah White, best known for Nanny McPhee Returns, and stars Academy Award-nominee Jessica Chastain.

Woman Walks Ahead tells the story of Catherine Weldon, a portrait painter from Brooklyn, New York who, in the late 1880s, traveled from New York to what is now South Dakota, then known as the Dakota territories, to paint a portrait of legendary Native American leader Sitting Bull. There, she became involved in the Lakota Sioux freedom movement and became a well-known Indian rights activist. The women in front of and behind the came on Woman Walks Ahead are a perfect example of the support TIFF is highlighting for female filmmakers.

Also featured at this year’s festival is the highly anticipated Mary Shelley from director Haiffa Al-Mansour. Mansour, the director of the critically acclaimed Wadjda, is behind the project which chronicles the young love affair that led Mary to write her masterpiece Frankenstein. Elle Fanning stars as Mary Shelley alongside Game of Thrones star Maisie Williams as Isabel Baxter and newcomer Douglas Booth as poet Percy Shelley.

Everything about Mary Shelley fits the Toronto Film Festival’s attempts to highlight the work of women from the writer and director to the young stars to the subject, Mary Shelley who became a legend when she wrote Frankenstein in 1816 while on holiday with Percy Shelley and fellow poet Lord Byron, a meeting that was chronicled briefly in the opening scenes of the legendary Frankenstein movie.

If you would like to help the Toronto Film Festival raise money to support women in film, you can make your donation via Ticketmaster at the link here. Also, at that same link, you can buy your tickets for the Toronto International Film Festival which will feature 33 films in special presentation and feature 12 gala premieres including Woman Walks Ahead and Mary Shelley. The full list of movies at the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival is below.

Here’s a full list of films:



The Catcher Was A Spy

Darkest Hour

Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool


Long Time Running

Mary Shelley

The Mountain Between Us



The Wife

Woman Walks Ahead


Battle of the Sexes

BPM (Beats Per Minute)

The Brawler

The Breadwinner

Call Me By Your Name

Catch the Wind

The Current War

The Children Act



A Fantastic Woman

First They Killed My Father

The Guardians


The Hungry

I, Tonya





The Price of Success

Professor Marston & the Wonder Women

The Rider

A Season in France

The Shape of Water

Sheikh Jackson

The Square




Three Billboards Outside Ebbing

Untitled Bryan Cranston/Kevin Hart Film

Victoria and Abdul


About the Creator

Sean Patrick

Hello, my name is Sean Patrick He/Him, and I am a film critic and podcast host for Everyone's a Critic Movie Review Podcast. I am a voting member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association, the group behind the annual Critics Choice Awards.

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