Open World Toronto Film Festival show poster

Open World Toronto Film Festival

June 28–30 2024

Running Time: 2:00PM – 9:00PM
All Ages

Open World Toronto Film Festival (OWTFF) is a three-day annual film festival. The festival aims to provide a platform for filmmakers and artists from all walks of life, welcoming productions from any country and budget size to compete in our awards categories. What started in the heart of Montreal, is now celebrating its 9th year in Toronto’s vibrant film scene. Join us as we celebrate this milestone with live performances, screenings, industry panel discussions, wine, red carpet gala, networking, and more!


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Team

Sabine Mondestin

Director and Co-founder

Sabine Mondestin is a dynamic force in the entertainment industry, renowned for her multifaceted talent as an actress, singer,director, producer, and writer. With a rich history in performing arts that began at a tender age, Sabine has since developed a diverse portfolio that spans stage, television, and digital media. Her expertise is showcased in the founding of MyDestiny Production, under which she produced the award-winning “13 Witches.”

Currently, Sabine is passionately involved in the post-production of her self-funded feature film, “Sucks To Be Us,” a vampire comedy that promises to be as engaging as it is humorous presently in post production. This project reflects her continuous evolution as a filmmaker and her commitment to creating compelling, original content.

Aside from her film endeavors, Sabine is a pivotal figure in the film festival circuit. As the co-founder of the Open World Toronto Film Festival (OWTFF), she provides a platform for both aspiring and established filmmakers to gain crucial exposure and recognition. The festival is a testament to her dedication to nurturing talent and promoting diversity in the film industry.

In summary, Sabine Mondestin is not just a prolific artist but a visionary, constantly pushing the boundaries of creativity and leadership in the entertainment world.


Steve Lareau

Head Of Technology & Cofounder

Strumming the strings of life with the same zest I pluck my guitar, I’m a melody in motion. My journey began with guitar riffs in cozy garage bands, echoing through the halls of time with albums that still hum in forgotten corners. A true Jack-of-all-trades, I’ve danced through a kaleidoscope of roles – from tech wizardry to artistic alchemy, blending pixels and paintbrushes, bytes and beats. As the co-founder of the Open World Toronto Film Festival (OWTFF), I’ve peered through camera lenses and dived into the deep end of filmmaking, finding stories in the unlikeliest of places. A globetrotter at heart, each stamp on my passport is a story, a song, or a silent film waiting to be told. An insatiable learner, I’ve delved into the realms of AI, ever fascinated by its endless canvas of possibilities. My geeky soul finds solace in the enigmatic world of quantum physics and the philosophical questions that keep the universe up at night.


Mark Datuin

Festival Coordinator

Mark is an award-winning filmmaker and founder of MAD Resilience Films where he has written, directed and produced over 30 short films and theatre productions. In 2014, his film Basted won Best International Film at the Milledgeville Film Festival. That was the first of a slew of accolades he collected for his subsequent films including Still Closed, Mismatch and Lighter, and Limited. He has received over 200 official selections on the festival circuit in France, Germany, Canada, India, Italy, the US and the UK. He has also been a featured panelist in Atlanta and Toronto, where he discussed the art of Writing a Short Film, and Diversity in the Film Industry.

Mark made his French-language directorial debut with the dysfunctional family drama Pardonnez-moi Mon Père (Forgive Me Father). Other notable productions include Limited, an examination of a tormented mother’s attempt to reconcile her differences with her abusive son, and Simple Sense, an introspective love note to those who are struggling in solitude during the pandemic.

Mark is the current Director of Programming at the ME Film Festival in Georgia, now in its 10th year. He is also the Co-Ordinator at the Open World Toronto Film Festival, and has served as a guest judge and panelist on several independent film fests.

In 2023, Mark returned to live theatre to direct God of Carnage for Toronto Stage Co/Mirvish. He also developed an original stage musical, Third Wheel, which premiered at the 2023 Toronto Fringe Festival.


Anita Yung

Operation Manager

Anita Yung is the Founder & Chief Sound Editor of Sippy Cup Audio. Best known for her work on the award-winning kids’ animation series Paw Patrol and its spin-off, Rubble and Crew. Originally trained as a voice-over actor, Anita loves anime and classic 80s & 90s cartoons, and has voiced/dubbed many productions before transitioning into post-audio. When not in studio, Anita can be found in cafes, writing her latest project, or on-set producing nuggets of creations. Anita is excited to be returning to OWTFF for her fourth year as an ongoing Animation and Sound judge and is honored to be invited for the first time as an official festival board member.


Gizelle Lue

Talk Moderator & Host

Gizelle is a professional editor and copywriter with experience in short story writing. She is also part of a Writers Collective at TOvoice with two other members. Gizelle started her journey into film through visual art and photography at a young age, and was eager to find out about film production. After training with a Toronto film school, she quickly headed off into the business side of film.

After a couple of years in distribution and sales, Gizelle learned about the film festival circuit and focused her talents there. She volunteered at many different Canadian festival engaging and advising many filmmakers on their own journeys.

Gizelle spends her days planning her next projects and keeping up with her writing while lending a helping hand to all filmmakers. She continues to look for collaborations into anything artistic.


Janna Katz

Host & Talk Moderator

Janna grew up around theatre and was musically trained since a young age. She speaks several languages and continued her love of art in Vancouver and Toronto by staying involved in the industry for over 20 years. She is proud to have obtained her Performing Arts Degree and to have been part of many incredible projects.


Alina Christensen

Host and Talk Moderator

Alina Christensen is a talk moderator, host, and trained dancer. After graduating from York University’s Theatre program, she performed in theatre productions throughout Toronto and acted in film and television. Through this passion for film, it led to working for film festivals, interviewing actors and filmmakers and discovering a love of hosting. She prides herself on a commitment to making sure her guests always feel comfortable and at ease, and that the audience leaves informed. She is thrilled to be part of the Open World Toronto Film Festival team for another exciting season!


Uriel Boraev

Videographer

Uriel Boraev was born and raised in Nahariya, Israel. From a young age, Uriel was captivated by the magic of cinema, drawing inspiration from countless films. This passion led him to enroll in a filming course at the age of 15. By 17, he had written and directed his first short film, “The Red Button,” which won the Best Short Film award at his school, marking the beginning of his journey in the filmmaking industry.

In 2012, Uriel moved to Toronto, Canada, to immerse himself in the vibrant film and TV industry. Driven by his dedication to the craft, he pursued studies in Broadcasting – TV and Film at Seneca College in 2015. During his time there, Uriel honed his skills, contributing as a cinematographer and editor to numerous projects, and building a strong foundation in storytelling and visual arts.

In 2017, Uriel launched UB Productions, his own independent videography service. Over the past seven years, UB Productions has delivered a diverse range of content including short films, mini-TV shows, corporate events, music videos, weddings, commercials, and promotional videos.

Beyond his work with UB Productions, Uriel is a key player in the film and TV sector, serving as a film equipment technician at William F. White International, a leading motion picture rental company. As part of the camera team, he supports numerous productions in Toronto and across Canada, ensuring that filmmakers have the tools they need to bring their visions to life.

Uriel’s involvement with OWTFF marked his entry into the film festival circuit. His enthusiasm and love for films have made him an invaluable member of the team, where he leverages his expertise to capture the excitement and memorable moments of the festival.


Wayne McDonald

Photographer

Wayne McDonald is a professional photographer based in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). He specializes in headshots, portraits, fashion/lifestyle, and event photography. With years of experience, Wayne has honed his skills to capture compelling and creative images. His work has been published, showcasing his talent and versatility.

Wayne is also an active member of ACTRA, the Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists. This experience has given him unique insights into the needs of performers and the entertainment industry. Whether shooting high-fashion editorials or candid event coverage, Wayne brings a keen eye for detail and the ability to put his subjects at ease.

Known for his personable approach and technical expertise, Wayne is a sought-after photographer in the GTA. He continues to expand his portfolio, taking on new challenges and collaborating with a variety of clients to bring their creative visions to life.


Antonio Garcia

Photographer

Antonio Garcia is an award-winning Photographer and Multimedia Producer. Born and raised in Saltillo, Mexico, and based in Toronto, Canada since 2015.

Antonio’s work and style are focused from a storyteller’s point of view, making his work unique. His main drive and motivation is to capture different stories of people and locations visited worldwide with the help of his camera.

He started his career in Mexico as a Photographer’s Assistant for a renowned local magazine called Escaparate, his style and vision were well-received and this led him to be the main Photographer of the cover and interior content of the magazine’s ”ecember 2012 issue.

This opportunity led to different collaborations with models and actors. His work was featured in several venues and caught the attention of filmmakers who offered to collaborate with them as a Cinematographer and the opportunity to produce and direct 3 short films with important theatre actors.

Once relocating to Canada, Antonio won several Photography Awards, including the Tim Hyusko Memorial Award, and the Applied Arts Magazine Student Award in 2017.

Antonio has been a member of the Open World Toronto Film Festival team since 2017 and is honored and excited to be part of this year’s event.