ONESTOP and Art for Commuters Launch 2010 Toronto Urban Film Festival

ONESTOP and Art for Commuters Launches 2010 Toronto Urban Film Festival on TTC

Canada's award-winning film festival uses digital technologies to engage filmmakers and fans online and underground on Onestop's TTC Network

Toronto, Ontario [March 31, 2010] - Art for Commuters and Onestop Media Group issued a call for submissions for the 4th annual Toronto Urban Film Festival (TUFF) at a press conference held earlier today at Dundas Subway Station. The event was attended by Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) Chairman Adam Giambrone, TUFF's Director Sharon Switzer, Onestop's President Michael Girgis, Guest Juror Kathleen Mullen, and last year's 1st place winners, Joyce Wong and Sonia Hong.

TUFF is the only true "˜underground' film festival of its kind in North America reaching an audience of over 1 million daily on Onestop's TTC network of digital displays on subway platforms. Recently honored by the Canadian Marketing Association with an award of distinction for its media innovation, TUFF features seven different urban-themed categories of one-minute silent films, running every 10 minutes during Toronto's festival fever in September. This year TUFF will include more specially designated screening areas called "TUFF Film Zones" at Dundas, Queen, Union and the Yonge/Bloor stations, where the festival will screen nonstop for 10 days.

"TUFF engages the community in which it operates in a digital fashion indicative of today's social behaviors and trends. TUFF has an innate ability to be "shared" far beyond that of the subway platform. This year's online social media extensions will help extend that experience. We are excited to see and share new TUFF films with the community and encourage TUFF fans to visit the new mobile compatible website, up load a film, search the new film library, leave a comment, vote for the best, join our twitter and facebook groups, and so much more." says, Michael Girgis, CEO and President, Onestop Media Group.

Sharon Switzer, Director of TUFF adds, "We are pleased to offer an artist fee to each and every filmmaker selected to take part in TUFF, thanks to funding from the Canada Council for the Arts. This -- and the fact that the festival has one of the largest film-going audiences in the world, as well as a robust online film viewing experience -- makes TUFF a truly rewarding festival for filmmakers."

"We are very proud to be a part of TUFF", said TTC Chair Adam Giambrone. "This is a truly unique festival that offers commuters films on the go and a place for artists and film-makers to showcase their work to over a million commuters a day."

TUFF filmmakers can look forward to over $10,000 in cash and in-kind awards courtesy of Sunquest and Bel Air Travel, The Drake Hotel, Women in Film and Television Toronto (WIFT-T) and Videoscope, and the City of Toronto under the auspices of the "Naish McHugh Award for Emerging Filmmakers." Trinity Square Video (TSV) will again offer seven filmmakers a complimentary TSV membership and up to $600 of in-kind support towards both the production and post-production of their film, animation or video.

Filmmakers are asked to submit one-minute silent films that consider the festival's seven urban themes: Urban Encounters and Other Stories; Our Environment and Urban Growth; The Medium is the Message; Urban Ideas and Politics; Urban Journeys; The City is a Poem; and After Night Falls. Final film selections are made by a jury of programmers, filmmakers, curators and academics. The top three films of the festival are chosen by a guest judge who will be announced later in the season.

Deadline for submissions is July 15, 2010. It is free to submit prior to June 1, 2010. After that date, there will be submission fees: $10 (June 1 - June 30) and $15 (July 1 - July 15). Films can be submitted through the TUFF website:

The creator of every film that is selected by the jury will receive an artist fee of $100 through funding from the Canada Council for the Arts.

This year's jurors include: Jorge Lozano (Founder and Curator of aluCine Toronto Latin Media Festival); Kathleen Mullen (Director of Programming for Planet in Focus: International Environmental Film & Video Festival); Sarah Robayo Sheridan (Curator and Director of Exhibitions and Publications at Mercer Union); Haema Sivanesan (Curator and Executive Director of SAVAC); Min Sook Lee (Award-winning Documentary Filmmaker); and Michael Zryd (Associate Professor of Cinema and Media Studies at York University).

TUFF: The Film Festival for Commuters returns to TTC subway platform screens, September 10 - 19, 2010, concurrent with The Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF).

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For more information, or to request an interview contact:
Lorne M. Simon, Michael Communications Media Group
Tel: 416-785-5037 || E-mail:

Additional Awards and Deadlines:

The Naish McHugh Award for Emerging Filmmakers Award:
The Naish McHugh Award for Emerging Filmmakers is a $2,500 cash award from the City of Toronto to a filmmaker working in the ultra-short format, in either film, video or animation. To qualify, candidates must live or work in the Greater Toronto Area (416/905 area code) and have completed at least one but fewer than six independent film or video works outside of school. The winning film will take an inspired view of the City of Toronto, reflecting its unique qualities, and addressing one of seven urban themes: Urban Encounters and Other Stories; Our Environment and Urban Growth; The Medium is the Message; Urban Ideas and Politics; Urban Journeys; The City is a Poem; and After Night Falls. The winner will be chosen by this year's guest judge. Deadline for submission is July 15, 2010.

TUFF TSV Pitch Award:
TUFF in cooperation with Trinity Square Video (TSV) will offer seven filmmakers a complimentary TSV membership and up to $600 of in-kind support towards both the production and post-production of their TUFF movie under the auspices of the Trinity Square Video Pitch Award. Filmmakers are invited to send a CV along with a one or two paragraph pitch that describes their 1-minute film idea to: TSV Pitch Award winners will be screened on the eighth day of the festival. For more information about TSV, go to Deadline for TSV submissions is May 1, 2010.

About The Producers:

Art for Commuters (A4C) -
Art for Commuters is a non-profit arts collective that initiates unique, thought-provoking projects in the public realm. As ONESTOP Media Group's community arts programming partner, they bring urban art festivals and competitions to over 1 million people daily on the ONESTOP network of screens throughout the TTC subway system. Projects include: Contacting Toronto, Earth Day "˜Every Day Heros' Film Competition, The Toronto Urban Film Festival, and DRIFT (part of Nuit Blanche). Art for Commuters was founded in 2007 by Sharon Switzer.

About ONESTOP Media Group -
Onestop Media Group is a world leader in the development, operation and innovation of Digital Out"of"Home Media. Onestop owns and operates Canada's largest portfolio of Digital Out of Home (DOOH) properties, collectively reaching a Canadian audience of over 2,000,000 viewers daily. Onestop is constantly expanding its DOOH portfolio through qualified new partnerships, joint ventures, and strategic acquisitions. For more information on Onestop's National portfolio of DOOH Networks visit: