World’s first breast cancer film fest in Toronto

November 12th, 2008 - 12:00 pm ICT by IANS  

Toronto, Nov 12 (IANS) Toronto will hold the world’s first Breast Fest Film Festival next week to raise awareness about breast cancer globally.To be organised by Toronto-based non-profit organisation Rethink Breast Cancer, the Nov 21-22 festival will feature films, individual stories and discussions about the issues surrounding the disease.

By showcasing films about the emotional toll of the disease, the festival will use the powers of this media to engage and educate audiences about the disease, Rethink Breast Cancer said Tuesday.

The festival will also connect people to each other and to the breast cancer cause, it said.

On the pattern of the Toronto International Film Festival, film screenings will be followed by panel discussions and question-and-answer sessions with film directors.

“So many people are touched by breast cancer, but each person’s experience is very different, resulting in a wide range of needs that are not always met through traditional support and education options,” said Rethink vice-president Alison Gordon.

“The stars of the Breast Fest Film Festival are the women and men who have shared their stories, through which we hope to engage and connect people, and encourage them to think differently about breast cancer,” she added.

The festival will open with the Canadian premiere of “Living Proof”, which highlights the importance of breast cancer research through the true story of Dennis Slamon of the University of California in Los Angeles (UCLA) who helped develop the breast cancer drug Herceptin.

Renée Zellweger is one of the executive producers of the film.

Next day, the winner of the Breast Fest Film Festival short film competition will be presented the Amazing Grace award - named after well-known Canadian filmmaker Grace Cianciotta.

Those touched by breast cancer will also share their stories at an international forum to be held Nov 22.

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