Toronto After Dark Film Festival is critically acclaimed genre festival, based in Toronto, Canada. It showcases horror, sci-fi, action and cult cinema. The festival premieres a diverse selection of international feature-length and short-films. The festival is a smaller and more local then other festivals held in the city like TIFF and Hot Docs. Since it started in 2006 it has shown over 300 films to fans of horror, sci-fi, action and cult cinema.
It shows about 50 new films over nine scary and lively nights. It attracts approximately 10,000 visitors. Attendees also have access to exciting Q&A’s with visiting filmmakers, after screening social events (Pub After Dark) and the popular, fun Zombie Appreciation Night.
The inaugural festival was held October 20–24, 2006, at the Bloor Cinema, and attended by 4,350 people. The festival screened 13 feature films from around the world and 15 short films from Canada. Some of the films shown at the inaugural event included Special, Retribution from cult director Kiyoshi Kurosawa, Thai action-horror film Vengeance. The first Audience Award was won by Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon. The festival was traditionally centred on the Bloor Cinema and tends to be held as close to Halloween as possible.
In 2013, After Dark partnered up with Canada’s Cineplex Entertainment, and the Scotiabank Theatre hosted the festival. At the new venue, After Dark 2013 attracted over 100 press and industry representatives. It garnered 300-plus published reviews and editorial pieces on the festival and its 19 feature films and 28 short films. It also resulted in multiple sales deals to distributors for the selected films. After Dark maybe small, but its influence is wide.
The ninth annual festival was held October 16-24, 2014. It was located, again, at The Cineplex Scotiabank Theatre, in downtown Toronto’s Entertainment District. The Entertainment District is a vibrant area, around which most of the city’s film festivals are held. Its restaurants and nightclubs, hotels and theatre make it the main centre of entertainment in Toronto.