|Canadian actress Tonya Lee Williams|
Canadian actress Tonya Lee Williams, Founder and Executive Director of ReelWorld Film Festival, welcomes everybody to the 12th Annual ReelWorld Film Festival, which is currently taking place in Toronto.
A message from Tonya Lee Williams:
“For many the global financial crisis has severely impacted their lives. For many filmmakers this is not the case. The independent filmmakers this is not the case. The independent filmmaker has always lived in financial crisis. They have already tightened their belts, and lived within their means. They have frugal lives, and make conservative fiscally prudent choices daily.
They run their movie sets like countries. They handle impossible budgets, intercede in conflicts, clothe, feed and serve the needs of their subjects.
Their sheer will and tenacity make the impossible, possible. They funnel fragmented chaos through the lens of a camera and allow it to breath onto the screen, bringing us real insight and a truly magical experience. They do all this for us.
When you think of voting for a President or Prime-Minister you would do well to vote for an independent filmmaker!
I thank all our sponsors and partners who continue to support the vision of ReelWorld. I thank our Board of Directors who give ReelWorld such strong direction. I thank our staff and volunteers who give their all to make this event happen. And of course I thank the filmmakers, their crews, screenwriters, production staff and actors without whom this festival would never exist.
Have a great festival!
About the Founder
Actress Tonya Lee Williams founded ReelWorld Film Festival in October 1999. The first inaugural festival premiered in March of 2001. Born in London, England to Jamaican parents and arriving in Canada at the age of 12, Tonya has been in the entertainment industry for over 30 years. Having started her career as an actress in Toronto, she now lives and successfully works in Los Angeles.
Tonya wants to create something lasting in Canada that would help emerging diverse talent find their success. Her passion, hard work and vision brought together a village of people – Board of Directors, staff, sponsors, Government funders, volunteers and talent – to bring this vision to fruition.
Tonya has been honored over the years with many awards, including two NAACP Image Awards, two Emmy nominations, a Harry Jerome Award, an ACTRA Award of Excellence, an African Canadian Achievement Award, an Oshawa “Walk of Fame”, the Planet Africa Award for Media and Entertainment, the 2012 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Award in Montreal and the 2012 International Women Achievers Award.
Tonya believes “there is a rich untapped diverse audience in Canada, that is hungry to see itself reflected on its screens, the future of our Industry lies in its ability to provide entertainment for this growing demographic”.
Tonya is also a Director, Producer and President of Wilbo Entertainment, and she has an online consulting business that helps actors create a sustainable career in the entertainment industry. For more information, please go to TonyaLeeWilliams.com.
Source: ReelWorld Film Festival
Photo Credit: Victoria West