Sonita
Sonita

The main theme of this year’s – the 16th edition of International Diaspora Film Festival (IDFF), taking place in Toronto, Canada from November 4 to 7, 2016, is Coming of Age with stories told by children and young adults. In Sonita and Junction 48 the protagonists express themselves through music to deal with their harsh realities. Enclave is the tale of a 10-year old boy who does not understand the animosity that the adults have created. A young Mexican illegal immigrant in Soy Nero joins the US army in exchange for citizenship.

The Music of Diaspora can also be heard in Around the World in 50 Concerts, where music becomes the common element to gather together people from around the globe. Narcissus tells the story of a young Tunisian gay through music and dance. Two comedies reveal a clash of cultures: Marry Me! is the battle between “back home” and “over here”, and in Highway to Hellas, German precision goes head to head with Greek take-it-easy-ness.

Our made-in-Canada slot includes two features and three shorts. Shahin Parhami, the Montreal-based Iranian Canadian filmmaker comes back to the festival with Shahrzad’s Tale, the story of the Iranian actress-poet-writer turned homeless. All Yours is a comedy drama about a love triangle involving a Belgian gay, an Argentine hustler, and a Canadian girl. Roj Means Sun, Forsaken, and Seeds of the Past are three shorts by young Toronto-based filmmakers.

Under the Shadow is the struggle of a young mother and daughter at the peak of the Iran-Iraq war coping not only with the horror of war, but also with a bad spirit (jin) haunting them.

The festival ends with the screening of Our Lives in Transit about Haitian illegals in the Dominican Republic. This will be followed by a discussion panel on Migration, Diaspora, and Language.

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