Canadian Sport Film Festival: June 5-7 in Toronto

The 7th annual Canadian Sport Film Festival (CSFF) is a low-budget, grassroots initiative that started in 2008 by Russell Field, an assistant professor at the University of Manitoba and a former film review editor for the Journal of Sport History. Screenings are at TIFF Bell Lightbox and CSFF will present 11 feature films and 16 short films including Winning Girl* and Coming Back to the Hoop*. Tickets are cheap: regular $12 and students/seniors $7, and can be purchased online. The thing I love about these kinds of film festivals is the chance to see a rare, independent piece of genius.

*WINNING GIRL follows the 4-year journey of this part-Polynesian female judo and wrestling phenomenon from Hawai‘i and her family. It tells the story of an elite athlete on her ascent, a girl facing the challenges of growing up and an entire family dedicated to a single dream.

*COMING BACK to the HOOP is about Jane Pittman, a promising basketball star at her small town high school in the 1960s, who ran off the court during a holiday tournament game never to return … until now. When Jane stumbles across the NOVA United Senior Women’s Basketball Association, old passions are reignited and Jane reconnects with her love of the game.