Complete list of films selected for CLiFF 2016 (with synopses)


A Living Wage

A Living Wage
0:20:00 (United States) Dan Albright, Andy Keyes – English
At the front lines of the struggle in Boston for a $15 minimum wage and union rights are Darius Cephas, a McDonald”™s fry cook, and Tiny Figueroa, barista at Dunkin”™ Donuts. Over the course of one year, A LIVING WAGE follows Tiny and Darius as they organize for economic justice, help build a major grassroots social movement and force local politicians into action.
Documentary, Short, Student


Armenian Papers

Armenian Papers
0:06:33 (Belgium) Ornella Macchia – Armenian
“At the market of Yerevan, a merchant invites us to share his fruits and his history”. Accompanied by birds, we discover the life of this man full of the colours of Armenia…”
Animation, Documentary, Short, Student Continue reading

Premiere Screening of Behind the Fare at Mayworks 2016!

CLiFF is proud to co-present the premiere screening of ‘Behind the Fare‘ at this year’s Mayworks Festival of Working People and the Arts!

FILM: Behind the Fare
Directors: Mariam Zaidi and Loveleen Kaur
World premiere | 20 minutes | 2016 | English

Tuesday, May 10, 2016 @ 7 pm
Alliance Française de Toronto – Centre culturel
24 Spadina Road, Toronto, Ontario M5R2S7

Tickets: $5 PWYC
Facebook event:

About the film: Behind the Fare is a film that follows the stories of taxi drivers in Toronto as they push back against the infringement of the foreign corporation, Uber, on their livelihoods. Putting their differences aside, the taxi community forms a united front to make itself heard but the city continues to ignore their demands. Their jobs, families, and communities remain in an increasingly precarious position. The media, consumers and politicians are not on their side as they continue to resist and organize on how to keep surviving in a rapidly changing industry. Following an important moment in Canadian labour history, this film sheds light on an issue far more complex than the headlines of ‘Taxi vs. Uber’.

The screening is followed by a talkback with the filmmakers and panelists from the taxi industry.

Co-presented with Alliance Française de Toronto – Centre culturel, Canadian Labour International Film Festival (CLiFF), Cinema Politica at The Bloor, Liaison of Independent Filmmakers of Toronto (LIFT), Regent Park Film Festival, South Asian Visual Arts Centre.

Behind the Fare will be screened as part of the 31st annual Mayworks Festival of Working People and the Arts, set to take place from May 1 – 14, 2016 at various GTA locations. For more information, please visit:

Call for Submissions!

CLiFF is now accepting film submissions for the November 2016 festival!

Please read the information below before submitting. Once you are ready, go ahead and click on this link to submit through CLiFF’s FilmFreeway page:

If you have any problems submitting,
please let us know at 

CLIFF tells the stories of workers (both paid and unpaid) and is the stage and the voice of those who seek justice on the job and dignity in the workplace.

Our festival provides a national platform to showcase those stories which have been made into films, but cannot find an audience beyond the film makers’ own circle of influence. We give filmmakers exposure across Canada and also help to direct community attention towards labour films made in the past that represent stories that deserve a wider and current audience.

Awards & Prizes

The CLIFF Best-in-Festival Award goes to the film judged to be the best in the festival by audiences during the Toronto festival and is announced after votes have been tabulated. This prize has a cash value of $500.00 CAD.

The Miguel Cifuentes Radical Change Award has been created in memory of CLIFF’s late board member and a longtime labour activist, Miguel Cifuentes, who passed away in 2014. The award goes to the film that best reflects his passion for social justice and commitment to social change. The winning film is chosen by Miguel’s family and is announced after the final screening in November. This prize has a cash value of $500.00 CAD.

Rules & Terms

CLIFF features films made by, for, and about the world of work and those who do it, in Canada and internationally. The films we showcase are about unionized workers, as well as those not represented by unions. We encourage projects regarding any and every aspect of work, as well as issues affecting work or workers. The festival draws trade unionists, community members, youth, activists, students, educators, artists, and allies from across North America and one day, we hope, the world.


We are looking for films on a wide spectrum of labour and worker issues, including films about: privatization, youth, First Nations people, people of colour, immigrants, refugees, detainees, health and safety, resistance, art, poetry, women, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, taxi drivers, truck drivers, rickshaw drivers – anyone who does anything considered work.

We also encourage the widest possible variety of films: from documentaries to drama to poetry/poetic treatments to comedy and animation.

  • The Festival is open to all film and video
  • The Festival is open to all lengths but there is a strong preference for shorter
  • Films and videos must be in English or have English French subtitles are also accepted (and encouraged).
  • Entries should be produced between 2013 and Preference will be given to films not yet widely distributed.


Submissions must be received no later than May 31, 2016.

If your submission is accepted:

TWO COPIES of each submission will be required. We keep submissions as part of our Labour Film Library, which we will use for on-going educational work. You may submit the entry form electronically, by mail or fax prior to shipping media and other materials.

You will be asked to deliver an MPEG 2 or MPEG 4 file at a specific bit rate for our duplication service. Please note that your film may not be screening in Toronto, but might at one or more of our other numerous locations across Canada.

You will be asked to provide a trailer and photos for the film.

Submission Fee and Screening Fees

CLIFF does not charge filmmakers any submission fees, nor do we pay filmmakers any screening fees. CLIFF screenings are free for audiences in order to ensure that  the films are seen by and accessible to as many people as possible.
In solidarity,

CLIFF Board of Directors

CLiFF 2015 Roll

Please share this trailer of CLiFF films with your friends!

A HUGE thank you to Huseyin Mirza Aydin for generously dedicating his time to putting together this kickass trailer!

The 2015 CLiFF Lunch Box announced!

Once again, CLiFF, the Canadian Labour International Film Festival (CLiFF) is pleased to announce our Lunch Box Special for 2015. If you only have one hour, probably lunchtime, this is the package for you. The films run for almost a one-hour span. Show it in your lunchroom, boardroom, basement, or meeting room. You may even want to gather around the kitchen table!

Stay tuned and see you at the movies! Below are brief descriptions of each selected film:

Continue reading

Festival-in-a-Box 2015

The Canadian Labour International Film Festival (CLiFF) is pleased to announce our innovative Festival-in-a-Box for 2015.

As a Location Co-ordinator, you can choose this line-up (more than 75% of all Location Co-ordinators do!) for your location. The programme is set for a two-hour span. Set a location, invite your audience and bring some popcorn. Leave the rest to us!

Stay tuned and see you at the movies! Below are brief descriptions of each selected film:

Continue reading

North American Premiere: Living of the Pigeons @ Toronto Palestine Film Festival 2015

CLiFF is very pleased to co-present the North American premiere of ‘The Living of the Pigeons’ with the Toronto Palestine Film Festival (TPFF) and Mayworks Festival of Working People at this year’s TPFF.

The film will be screened on Sunday, September 27th at 2pm along with ‘Born in Gaza’ at the Jackman Hall cinema, located at the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO).


The Living of the Pigeons
Directed by Baha Abu Shahab
17 minutes, 2015, Palestine
Tickets & more info: please visit the event listing here

About the film: It is 1:30am, the cold streets leading to “checkpoint 300” – the crossing between Bethlehem and Jerusalem – are empty and silent. A coffee seller and his father arrange their goods on wooden planks as they prepare for the arrival of hundreds of workers who descend on the checkpoint before the dawn to get to work. 

Final Selections for CLiFF 2015

The Canadian Labour International Film Festival (CLiFF) is pleased to announce its 2015 festival line-up.

After reviewing a record breaking number of films from more than 97 countries, the CLiFF Board of Directors and Selection Committee members have chosen the films which will be shown across Canada.

In the coming days, we will be posting stills and trailers from these amazing films so that our audiences can start planning to attend CLiFF screenings across the country.

Stay tuned and see you at the movies! Below are brief descriptions of each selected film:

Continue reading