Revved up and ready, after two years online, the Toronto Motorcycle Film Festival (TMFF) motored into Calgary for the first time this fall. 

The TMFF showcases films about motorcycling from around the world. The festival debuts its first multi-city tour in Toronto, Montreal and Calgary with a variety of short films and documentaries for motorcycle and movie lovers alike. 

The festival kicked off on Oct. 6 and ran two days in Toronto before moving on tour. The TMFF opened in Calgary on Oct. 13 to 14 at the Plaza Theatre in Kensington.

In 2020 the festival was streamed to viewers online due to the COVID-19 lockdown. Caius Tenche, the festival director, found that the event’s appeal was bigger than Toronto and decided to tour the TMFF in Calgary and Montreal.

“It’s something that I’ve wanted to do for a long time – the idea is to share these stories with more people beyond our city. And to bring the communities together regardless of where we’re located,” said Tenche. 

The festival features the world of motorcycle films from countries including the United Kingdom, Iran, the Czech Republic and Argentina. There is also a Canadian animated short film, Oskar, directed by Max Vannienschoot.

“Every year, we see a leveling up of the quality of filmmaking and storytelling in the films. And every year I say, this is the strongest lineup we’ve ever had,” said Tenche. “I don’t say that lightly, I actually mean it.” 

The festival receives about 60 submissions annually. Nine finalists were selected this year, including the noteworthy film Sfumato, directed by Iranian filmmaker Amirali Mirderikvand. It was made in cooperation with police in Iran before losing support from the Iranian government. 

Tenche said the festival aims to bring the motorcycle enthusiast community to new audiences and share stories that Canadians wouldn’t see otherwise.  

“There’s some things or some places in the world that are thousands and thousands of kilometres away from us, and we don’t know what it’s like, but through these films, we get to see that wow, they’re really not that different from how we are.” 

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