Toronto will add yet another film festival to its name this year when it holds the world's first Breast Fest Film Festival in November in support of breast cancer.
Mooted by the city-based Rethink Breast Cancer, a self-described bold new charity committed to beating cancer, the festival will showcase short films, documentaries, animation and dramatic features to highlight breast cancer and breast health.
From documentaries to dramas to comedies, the festival will profile films that span the emotional spectrum of breast cancer, the organizers said in a statement.
``Rethink Breast Cancer has always encouraged Canadians to look at breast cancer differently,'' said M.J. DeCoteau, executive director of Rethink Breast Cancer.
``Now, for the first time ever, we are using the big screen to engage a new audience of people from around the world to raise awareness for breast cancer in a completely new way.''
Rethink Breast Cancer has sought short videos, films, animation or public service announcements from filmmakers worldwide that highlight the issues surrounding breast health.
``Both filmmakers and those touched by breast cancer, directly or indirectly, are invited to submit their works,'' the charity said.
Selected shorts films will be posted on the festival website and the public will be asked to vote on their favorite.
The finalists will be screened during the Breast Fest Film Festival, and the director of the winning film will be flown to Toronto for the festival to discuss his or her film with the audience.
Rethink Breast Cancer adopts hip methods - funky parties, bikini shows, sports events and open auctions - to raise awareness and funds for breast cancer research. It also gives Career Development Awards to promising young Canadian researchers to pursue training in breast cancer research.
To underscore its unique funky approach to fundraising and promoting awareness of breast cancer, its launch invitations in 2001 featured a fold-out, breast-shaped card with the message: "We want you to keep both of these"!
Breast cancer is the most frequently diagnosed cancer among Canadian women, says Health Canada.