Media City Film Festival named Historic 2019 Knight Arts Foundation Winner

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Media City Film Festival, Windsor’s annual international festival of film and digital art takes home a historic win after being named a John S. and James L. Knight Foundation 2019 Knight Arts Challenge Detroit winner.

This year’s recipients will share over $1.3 Million in funding; chosen from hundreds of applicants. As the only cross-border film festival in the world, Windsor’s own Media City Film Festival is the first Canadian organization to be named a Knight Arts Challenge recipient.

Media City Film Festival’s most recent federal operating funding awarded from the Canada Council for the Arts alone brought over $100,000 in federal support to the city of Windsor to showcase world-class artistic programs locally. This funding recently enabled the organization to host over 220 in-person appearances by presenting filmmakers from 50 different nations worldwide at the Capital Theatre in downtown Windsor, making MCFF a cultural ambassador for visiting international guests.

Knight Arts Foundation funding will support a 4-day expansion of Media City Film Festival programming in Detroit to match screenings and events presented in Windsor in celebration of the festival’s 25th anniversary in 2020; cementing MCFF’s reputation as an internationally significant cross-border festival like no other in the world.

Announced at an Award Ceremony at the Garden Theatre in downtown Detroit, Victoria Rogers, Vice President for arts at Knight Foundation said: “We fund the arts because of their unique ability to tell the stories of our communities, connecting people to each other and to place. These Knight Arts Challenge winners put that belief into action in Detroit.”

Lawrence Baranski, Detroit Institute of Arts Director of Public Programs said, “Media City Film Festival continues to create extraordinary communal experiences for film and media arts viewership. Beyond their commitments to artistic excellence, they are also actively involved in creating meaningful partnerships with local grass-roots organizations, and making sure that all of their programs are affordable and accessible to anyone interested in attending. It’s worth noting that their audiences are an amazing and diverse mix of individuals from metro Detroit, across Canada and around the world.”

Media City Film Festival’s national and international reputation has skyrocketed in recent years. In 2018 and 2019 returning alumni and festival featured artists such as Mati Diop, Kevin Everson and Iain Baxter& were awarded the Cannes Grand Prix (2019), the Heinz Art Award (2019), were named a Companion to the Order of Canada, a TIFF Top Ten Canadian Film, and entered into the Oscar race among many other high-profile accolades.

“We’re honoured to be recognized by the Knight Arts Foundation for the significant work that we do. Windsor-Detroit is a major player on the worldwide film circuit, and MCFF is a big part of that. One of our overarching goals is to activate the transformative power of moving image art to promote new methods for thinking, sharing, and reshaping local and global arts and social justice narratives,” said Oona Mosna, MCFF Program Director.  

Media City Film Festival is looking for support to fundraise an additional $20,000 before the end of 2019 for its 24th annual edition taking place February 13-16, 2020 at the Capitol Theatre. The festival’s 25th Anniversary will take place in November 2020, with significant financial contributions already confirmed from the Ontario Arts Council and other professional agencies nationally and internationally.

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