Tourism Takes To The Screen At GTFF 2023

The Global Tourism Film Festival 2023, to be held April 27-30 in North Bay, Ont., will have special programming segments recognizing film, accomplishment, and advancement of Indigenous peoples, people of color, and women in film and tourism.

The festival’s Canadian Film selection presents the award-winning Indigenous feature film ‘Monkey Beach’ by filmmaker L. Sarah Todd, based on Canadian author Eden Robinson’s novel and the first full length work of fiction by a Haisla writer.

Indigenous films screened at the festival additionally include a free screening of the acclaimed animated short film ‘Arctic Song’, co-directed by Inuit artist, storyteller, and Canada’s Governor General Award recipient, Germaine Arnattaujuq (Arnaktauyok).

The film, co-produced with the National Film Board of Canada, depicts Inuit creation stories. GTFF 2023 activity incorporates a cultural workshop on medicine pouches that educate on the four main medicines recognized and used by many Indigenous communities in prayers and as protection.

The pouches, traditional to North American First Nations communities, are worn to carry medicines and ensure the spirit and mind are protected. The Indigenous cultural workshop is organized through the Canadore College First Peoples’ Centre that offers cultural and academic support for Indigenous learners at the institution.

An Australia Tourism Board presentation at GTFF 2023 includes a segment on Aboriginal Guided Experiences, part of the country’s Signature Experiences Tourism Program.

Returning to GTFF 2023, a seminar is extended on sustainable tourism initiatives and rights working with Indigenous communities, by Maithri Panagoda, legal advocate and recipient of Australia’s Governor General Award for his work with Australian Aboriginal peoples.

More programming includes a workshop by Marie Y. Lemelle. The Southern California native provides public relations insight that focuses and engages minorities and women. She is the recipient of numerous honors, including the US National Association of Female Executives’ Women of Excellence Award for Community Service.

On April 30, GTFF film programming streams a short film block of productions by female filmmakers. These include the World Premiere of ‘Closer to Heaven’, a documentary produced and directed by UK Filmmaker Zara Janjua chronicling a fundraising climb of Tanzania’s Iconic Mount Kilimanjaro, that accompanies a seminar by the Tanzania Tourism Board.

Other films of the series include ‘The Tribal Traveler’, ‘Atayal Mountains and Forests’, ‘Wood as Chance of Existence’, ‘Different Village’, ‘Mark’, and ‘A Journey of Restoration.’

For GTFF 2023 tickets and travel information, visit

Image Credit – Arctic Song