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ReelHeART International Film Festival

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reelheart
Toronto, Canada
+1-416-937-9807 x 1
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30 positive user reviews     0 negative user reviews.

  1. Mary G
    February 19th, 2017 at 12:07 | #1

    Winning a live script read with ReelHeART was an invaluable experience. Seeing my story brought to life by the very talented actors ReelHeART assembled has been a highlight of my writing career. ReelHeART also gave me the opportunity to network with other writers, actors and film makers through their festival events–so much fun!

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  2. Joe A
    February 19th, 2017 at 12:03 | #2

    “ReelHeART is the RealDeal: the writers are treated with respect irrespective of their past creds (or lack), the staff are professional and genuinely happy to see the participants, and the volunteers are boundlessly energetic.

    The year I won at ReelHeART for TWO Feature Screenplays, I also won for a different piece at another well known festival. And while they had a traditional finalist presentation ceremony, it was much more formal and staid than ReelHeART.

    But the Live Script Reads are really where the writer gets, but more importantly, SEES the feedback in real time; the live reads are where the rubber hits the road. The live reads are the entire province of you as director: you have to see their value even if they don’t sell tickets; you have to dig up the actors that can carry a tune in a bag; you have orchestrate it all.

    And, yeah… you have to delegate it, I get that. But you can only delegate responsibility; you can’t delegate authority. Somebody has to own it, and as a writer fortunate enough to have had two live script reads, I will forever be thankful that ReelHeART is the one festival and writing competition who “owns it.”

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  3. Gen C
    July 8th, 2013 at 06:50 | #3

    “The Interviewer is the little film that could, and against stiff odds has found a place in the hearts of audiences across the globe, and we are so thrilled that it was able to connect with audiences at ReelHeART International Film Festival. We would like to thank the festival for providing a platform for indie filmmakers to connect with likeminded souls and screen our work.”

    Many thanks again for including our film in your festival.

    Best

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  4. Lena S.
    February 19th, 2013 at 16:50 | #4

    Just wanted to extend a word of thanks to ReelHeART for honoring Masika’s story with the First Prize (in the Feature Screenplay Competition). The live read was enlightening and gave me many important insights into how I can strengthen this story going forward. I’m grateful to all of the organisers and the wonderful talent that took on all of the roles! The horror ongoing in Congo is of course all that more motivating to really get this important story out there.

    thanks!
    Lena

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  5. Liliane
    January 24th, 2013 at 11:15 | #5

    First of all… Happy new year and many great movies! What can I say? To me you become real when you take one of my films into your festival and even more so when you give me a prize which turns out to be so real that it arrives in a parcel on real mail… Other than that which is totally great. Even the name of the festival is a bit mysterious for a French person. Reel but not Real and that big H in the middle before the reassuring ART … My feeling is : please stay just the way you are … To me you are perfect. “RealHeART” because that is what you are to me… RealGreat. Bonne année! Liliane

    Please help and put this I forgot stars, but I give you 5!

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  6. Tom Mc
    October 2nd, 2012 at 09:55 | #6

    Got detailed coverage and constructive notes from ReelHeART International Film Festival on a supernatural thriller I wrote last year. I highly recommend this competition (you still have time to enter) to all of you aspiring screenwriters out there.
    I didn’t mention the wonderful notes and coverage I got for SPIN – a short screenplay from ReelHeART International Film Festival – these notes and the audience reactions at the live readings have reinforced my gut feeling that I need to make this short.

    ReelHeART 2012 It was a great experience.

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  7. Roger Grant
    July 19th, 2012 at 07:38 | #7

    ReelHeART is truly a festival for independant film lovers and film makers. I felt that each film really got a lot of individual attention and marketing support, and that is all a film maker could possibly ask. It was well organized, responsive and friendly to film makers from the start.

    ReelHeART has become a distinguished and respected event in the increasingly cluttered film festival market.

    Roger Grant

    Producer/Director – THE PEOPLE’S TENOR

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  8. Brittany Brothers
    July 19th, 2012 at 07:33 | #8

    We were very proud and happy to be a part of the 8th Annual ReelHeART Film Festival (as well as little sister fest, Toronto Beaches Film Festival)! Shannonn and her team really put together an eclectic group of films that didn’t follow the normal film festival structure, which I found really refreshing!  Thank you again for all of your hard work and love of the indie filmmakers!

    Best,
    Brittany

  9. December 7th, 2011 at 17:47 | #9

    Last June (of 2011) two of our feature-length screenplays were selected as top-three winners of RHIFF’s Screenplay Writing Competition. My writing partner and I were thrilled. One of the benefits of winning was that all three winning scripts were given live, rehearsed readings by professional Toronto actors. At the opening night party, actors were introducing themselves using their screenplay character’s name. What a trip to meet our fictional characters in the flesh! The readings were superb. Canada’s top literary agent at The Characters Agency, Carl Liberman attended the reading of one of our scripts. He offered to show it to a director client. In the meantime, back in New York, we met a producer from Paramount. We told him about our wins at RHIFF. He asked what year they won. When we told him June of 2011, he asked we send the scripts immediately. Within one week from sending them, PARAMOUNT OPTIONED THE FAMILY FILM SCREENPLAY. We must thank and credit Shannonn Kelly and all the ReelHeART people (and actors!) for getting the ball rolling!

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  10. Ramona
    June 30th, 2011 at 18:53 | #10

    Congratulations, Shannonn! …on another extremely successful Festival. It just keeps getting better!

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  11. Karen P
    June 30th, 2011 at 18:51 | #11

    You and your team went out of your way to make ReelHeART an excellent festival. Congratulations to all. Thank you for including Impoverished Places.
    All the best,

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  12. June 27th, 2011 at 15:11 | #12

    My partner and I whole-HeARTedly agree with every positive post here. The ReelHeART International Film Festival has gleaned all the best elements of the “Film Festival Experience” and rolled it into one. Shannonn Kelly, the festival’s director, has learned the ropes from attending and working with dozens and dozens of film festivals and she found all the ingredients and has developed a recipe for an unforgettable experience! She is the “Iron Chef” of the Film Festival circuit, lovingly and expertly serving up a week of delights which satisfy the eyes, ears, brains, hearts AND stomachs of all who participate. Her personal involvement and attention to each and every one of her “guests” is unsurpassed.

    Additionally, Shannonn’s connections to those working in the biz in Toronto are excellent. Through her Screenwriting Competition Series, winning scripts are rehearsed and read by some of Toronto’s most talented actors. My partner and I made a solid connection for representation at this event. ReelHeART has given us the break we were looking for. Thank you ReelHeART, Shannonn, actors, and over 90 volunteers who make this all possible!

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  13. June 27th, 2011 at 06:50 | #13

    Just been to the ReelHeART International Film Festival 2011. This was my first film festival and Shannonn Kelly and her amazing team has really set the bar very high as far as I’m concerned. All the film makers and screen writers were looked after right from the very second that we arrived in Toronto. We were driven to our hotels, also to the film screenings that we wanted to attend and to dinner every night and any parties that we wanted to go to as well. Just the best attention to detail that you could want from a film festival. I also met a wide variety of film makers from all over the world and Shannonn made sure that we had time to spend with each other throughout the week. My script, ‘Overwhelming Darkness’ won first place in the screen writing contest and the table read by professional actors was the highlight of the festival for me. There were another two table reads for the other winners and these were absolutely fantastic as well, a great experience and just brilliant to see. This has been a really positive, fun and exciting experience for me and I can’t recommend this film festival highly enough. If you’ve got a spec screenplay, a short film, documentary, or feature then make sure that you submit it to the ReelHeART International Film Festival 2012, you wont be disappointed.

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  14. JohnS_234655
    January 7th, 2011 at 13:42 | #14

    I can’t exactly say that DIFF was the “best” at anything. ReelHeART still tops my personal list in terms of energy, seminars, and an endless assortment (from transportation to food to everything in between) of freebies.

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  15. December 27th, 2010 at 15:55 | #15

    We were welcomed and supported by Shannon and her volunteers. The minute she met us I knew she had actually screened our film and I felt like she respected us! The events were well attended, the filmmaker community was great and we some great people there. It is a well run and quality event.

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  16. LouM
    December 30th, 2009 at 11:34 | #16

    Does ReelHeART care for and about film makers?

    My film was a short. I was picked up and dropped back to the airport. I was picked up and taken out each night to an evening meal and back to watch more films or go to the party that night (whatever I chose).

    As well as coffee, biscuits and soft drinks we got lunch every day. Every night we were wined and dined. Japanese, Mexican, BBQ, Creole etc. As much beer or wine as I wanted. The best was the Italian night. Starting with champagne and on to wine, finishing with liquors and coffee. The A La Carte menu choice, excellent food, linen table cloths , brilliant service. Do you get the picture. I thought I had died and gone to heaven. This was also a brilliant way to get to properly meet other film makers.

    Everyday there was a short meeting for new film makers to introduce themselves and their films.

    All film makers can go to any screening they want to see.

    The 3 people who were finalists in the Script Writing competition had their scripts read by a huge cast of professional actors who had been rehearsing over the previous 3 weeks. One cast had over 20 actors! If I had been one of those script writer I would have been over the moon. I just enjoyed the scripts and the excellent performances by the actors and the narrators.

    There were other events. The best were the session with a top entertainment lawyer, sales agent and distributors of shorts/features and Docs. The other session was when each of the film makers spoke about how they got finance, shot their film and problems/triumphs. Hilarious and informative.

    Did I say the volunteer staff never stopped smiling and that Shannonn was Shannonn. You have to go to ReelHeART to find out what Shannonn is like but be assured she is unique, warm hearted and single minded in running the festival.

    Before the festival ReelHeART requests info to build (or help build) a Press Release. They then give you an exhaustive list of people and organisations which would be interested in your film.

    At ReelHeART they go out and put up any posters you have supplied. They have teams who go out and hand out flyers. When you arrive they give you more handbills to hand out and also volunteers to help you.

    When I was there they arranged for me to be interviewed on Toronto Radio with 2 other film makers. ReelHeART had a great response to my talk about my film and got a lot of emails requesting a 3rd alternative screening time.

    Are you exhausted reading this. Annoyed you didn’t go? Did I tell you how much everything above cost me? The amazing answer is absolutely nothing, except of course my WAB entry fee.

    So you are wondering why I am writing all the above. I have no connection with the festival except as a film maker and I just wanted to let everyone else know what ReelHeART was like.

    I went to another festival in Ireland which has a good reputation. As a shorts film maker I get two free tickets to get into the programme my film is screening in and that is it. No coffee, parties, meals, talks etc. They do have events etc. but only if I pay the same price as the ordinary public. They bill themselves as the FILMMAKERS festival.

    ReelHeART has been called the Film makers Festival by the industry. Guess which one is the one I think is the Film Makers Festival.

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  17. LarshG
    December 30th, 2009 at 11:28 | #17

    Second that. Screened at ReelHeART 08 and had a great time.

    It really reminded me why sometimes its good to be a filmmaker!

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  18. SusG
    December 30th, 2009 at 11:26 | #18

    ReelHeART was wonderful 🙂
    Shannonn did a bang-up job for the festival & it was a huge success. We had never been to Toronto before & absolutely loved it, especially the big brewery there that gives out free samples. Wonderful gift bag, great parties & dinners, & of course the best is always meeting the fascinating folk that make movies.
    Congratulations, Shannonn, and thanks to all of you!

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  19. SubProd
    December 30th, 2009 at 11:22 | #19

    This was our second year at ReelHeART, and there is nothing we have found comparable to it. Phenomenal!

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  20. Silvana Jakich
    November 30th, 2009 at 18:51 | #20

    I have very fond memories of the ReelHeART Film Festival. My feature film, “Underdogs”, went to quite a few festivals and ReelHeART was one that really stood out for me. There was a personal touch, they kept everyone well informed by e mail on what was going on and when AND they had medals even for those of us who were just honorably mentioned. I like having that medal as a souvenir. Thank you ReelHeART- I really enjoyed the process! Silvana Jakich

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  21. November 25th, 2009 at 12:41 | #21

    I had to think about what else to add about my ReelHeART experience which hasn’t already been said by previous posters. Shannonn Kelly is a tireless spitfire. She’s always moving and constantly going the extra mile to make her filmmakers happy.

    I guess I have two new points to make, and even of the two, only one is serious.

    The serious one is that I hope the festival doesn’t get too big b/c it’s the perfect size as is. If it were to grow, I can’t see how Shannonn (or anyone else) would be able to maintain the extremely personable and friendly type of treatment that she currently provides to all of her filmmakers. And really, that atmosphere of being amongst friends, is the best of many good things to say about ReelHeART.

    The not so serious point is that leaving ReelHeART truly was, like leaving a friend, a bummer. It’s really hard to bounce back to crap post RH. No other festival director has ever hustled so much for me, before or since. No other festival director provided us with all the freebies (from rides to food to copies for our posters to lectures by industry insiders to the all-night drunken bowling at festival’s end) that Shannonn did. It was an amazing week in an amazing city. Great times, just hope it never becomes a victim of its own success and turns into the attitude-laden crap which I’ve seen in NY and LA.

    ~Johnny Salvatore
    http://www.youtube.com/user/BrooklynAtlantic

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  22. November 22nd, 2009 at 21:39 | #22

    My son & I had a very short experimental piece in the ReelHeART International Film Festival a few years back. Calder was a High School Senior at the time & found the festival was a wonderful & thrilling experience. He scored his second short film…”Something Left to Sea”… that was screened in October at ‘The Hamptons International Film Festival’. I’m sure his time spent with other artist at ReelHeART was positive & motivating. The entire ‘Film Staff’ were kind & friendly. He is now a Junior attending Oberlin Conservatory for Music in the TIMARA Program.Thank you very much to all the hard working staff members past & present.This Fest made a difference in my son’s eyes. Sincerely,Greg Singer (Projectionist / MoMA in NYC)

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  23. Katarzyna Kochany
    November 20th, 2009 at 16:12 | #23

    If you want glitz and glamour on the red carpet in Toronto, get thee to Toronto International Film Festival. But if you want a more laid-back experience where you can really connect with people who share your interests in the work itself, you will appreciate the ReelHeART experience.

    ReelHeART is not about the red carpet; it’s about sharing the love of great stories.

    Over the past 5 years, I have had the privilege of traveling to numerous festivals across North America, ranging from small-town Oklahoma to fabulous Beverly Hills, and I must say that ReelHeART stands out as one of the most positive experiences.

    Having participated in 2006 and 2008 with two separate short film projects, I am delighted to see the festival grow, and at the same time remain true to their commitment to great stories. They are not afraid to screen a wide range of production value in one slot, as long the projects are strong on story. Pretty humbling to have your first indie project screen alongside an Oscar-winning short! The programmers make it all work by matching projects that just work well together.

    As others mentioned, ReelHeART really does take care of the filmmakers, and does it in a warm, friendly sort of way.

    A word of caution: they mean what they say about making you *work* to promote your screenings. The thing is, it’s worth it…

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  24. November 20th, 2009 at 09:22 | #24

    ReelHeART was such a positive experience. The panels, seminars, readings, gathering etc. created a great sense of community. Shannon brought great people together and provided us with the opportunity to speak about our films, our works in progress our next projects. We were able to develop relationships that are still in tact today. And Shannon’s organizational skills are wonderful – I never doubted that what she said was going to happen, would actually happen. The festival also has a very very cool vibe because the locations are cool and hip. It is a great great fest. She also has really good taste in films, we saw films there that had done well internationally and it was good to see them embraced up north as well.

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  25. David Shin
    November 20th, 2009 at 08:37 | #25

    What Shannonn (the ReelHeART Director) is doing is great. ReelHeART is a great fest that I recommend to filmmaker friends. You all are doing a great job!

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  26. Deanna Dewey
    November 19th, 2009 at 09:15 | #26

    I travelled from the UK to attend the ReelHeART Festival this year (2009). This was my first film and my festival. I have been to many since and nothing can compare. Shannon and her team were fantastic – they even picked us up from the airport. The Southern Accent Restaurant where the opening and closing night parties were held offered great food and a warm welcome. We were driven to a different food venue each night and all free. Some great films were shown and it was a festival where we got the opportunity to meet and chat with other film makers which is what it is all about and we are still in contact with friends wemade there. Plus the icing on the cake was my short was picked up by a Distributor at the Festival – what more could we have asked for? Many thanks Shannon and team for doing such a great job and making Filmmakers feel so welcome – ReelHeART is definately “The Film Makers Festival.”

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  27. November 18th, 2009 at 17:29 | #27

    ReelHeART was a small and intimate film festival back in 2007. A breath of fresh air compared to the larger festivals where one would easily get lost on the red carpet. The environment was conducive for a bunch of like-minded artists and filmmakers from all over the world to gather, make friends, bounce ideas and even discuss possibilities for collaboration. In my opinion, it is the perfect place to breed success. I hope to go back someday.

  28. November 18th, 2009 at 12:17 | #28

    We submitted to the 2009 ReelHeART International Film Festival because we had heard that they were one of the few festivals who actually viewed the screeners upon submission. What a breath of fresh air this film festival was! Run by hard working filmmakers with knowledge and taste. RHIFF is without the hidden agenda and shameful programming tactics that have plagued too many festivals.
    God bless this fest!

    Soren Johnstone
    filmmaker
    http://www.playwithfiremovie.com

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  29. chamellee
    November 18th, 2009 at 08:32 | #29

    I went to the Festival in 2008. It was a great experience. I met a lot of very nice filmmakers, actors etc. and Shannon and her team went out of their way to make us feel comfortable. The dinners provided a great opportunity for connecting with other people and the morning briefs were very instructive. I was really impressed by the Festival team. It is worth sustaining them.

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  30. November 18th, 2009 at 08:05 | #30

    ReelHeART 2008 was my first festival experience and it has not been surpassed by subsequent festival screenings of my work. Festival director Shannonn Kelly and the entire team are truly focused on the filmmakers – activities are planned every day that created opportunities to meet and network with other filmmakers and film lovers outside of the screening environments. At a Lunch and Learn filmmaker development session, I met the distributor who subsequently picked up my short film “two julias”.

    In 2009 I had two feature length scripts in the screenwriting finals, which includes coverage – a great deal. My scripts didn’t advance to the top three which get rehearsed readings at the festival. I attended the readings in 2008 and they were performed well by professional actors.

    I hope to be attending in 2010 with my latest short “Greenspoke”.

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  31. November 18th, 2009 at 07:48 | #31

    ReelHeART was such a personal festival experience that a year and a half later we are still in regular contact with the festival staff and other filmmakers we met there. Anyone who has been through the festival circuit knows that there are some details that are the filmmakers responsibility – the ReelHeART staff takes care of all of the others so that you can focus your energies on promoting your film. This is a festival that takes care of its filmmakers, from transportation to meals to promotional advice. Director Shannonn Kelly’s energy is boundless, and the staff’s devotion to independent film is without peer. The entire fest is also a wonderful party – filmmakers are treated to a smorgasbord of local cuisine, from to homemade Italian to Korean to Cajun/Creole food (Southern Accent alone is just about worth the drive from the States). There was so much to do that we had to pull ourselves away from events and panels just to find the time to promote our film. The staffers even drove us to the business district so we could shoot a promotional video for our screening, which reached over 16,000 viewers in one week: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PAmuALq472E

    We couldn’t stay long enough to attend the closing party, but we received an excited phone call from Shannonn at the party, capturing the announcement of our Award, and the congratulations of the supportive crowd, on our voice mail. Very cool and classy.

    Highly recommended – on our Must List for future festival submissions.

    Jason Sherry & Ellen O’Brien Sherry
    Producers, Cubes
    http://www.cubesthemovie.com
    “Think inside the box.”

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  32. November 3rd, 2009 at 11:45 | #32

    What can I say, ReelHeART was my first and it was grand! June 2009. Shannon, the Festival Director is in the frontlines like she’s in combat all in the hopes of bringing attention to the festival — and not just for her but for all the filmmakers who make it down from all around the world –and let me tell you, they came from all around — it was simply the best — they treated us all like gold and there were parties every day — free dinners/drinks/great daily panels — and basically, they took the time to indtroduce filmmakers to each other everyday — they would force them to stand in front of everyone and introduce themselves and talk about their films — It was awesome — Shannon is simply A#1 and I hope I can find future festivals as great as this very first. It’s like chasing the dragon! HA!

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