Reel Focus 2021

Short Films + Study Guides

We’re coming back next year with a hybrid festival, in-person and online, from April 3-13, 2022!

Reel Focus consists of five short film programs developed for students in grades 4-7. Each program contains four to six films. By purchasing school group access for your class you will be able to view every film in the festival, and will receive up to three study guides of your choice. Study guides assist teachers in preparing their class for post film discussion and activities which help tie the film program to elementary level curriculum.

R2R’s entire program will be presented on Eventive, a world class platform that is easy to navigate. You will be able to access every film in the festival from your account on one device only. Please be sure to initially log in on the device you will use to present to your students. We do not offer tickets for individual films. The purchase of your pass will supply you with one virtual ticket per each program on Eventive. Classes are welcome to view all short film programs as many times as desired, however once you’ve unlocked and started to play a feature film, you only have 48 hours to finish watching it. Please be sure to access the films you want to view by April 22.

When: April 14-23, 2021

Cost: There is an early bird discount for teachers. We accept payment online, by credit card only.

  • Regular access for a single class is $75 (price includes educational materials)

To Register: Registration are closed for the R2R Online Festival 2021

Study Guide: With the registration and purchase of a school group festival pass, teachers are invited to select up to three film study guides. This year all study guides will include instructions to set up your own animation stations and steps to produce an animation workshop in the classroom without an instructor. The study guides are available for all five Reel Focus programs and three of the feature films: Binti, Fritzi – A Revolutionary Tale, Veins of the World.

A note about subtitles: The films at the R2R Festival will either have English closed captioning or subtitles. We encourage young readers to follow English subtitles as best they can, and gain exposure to other languages, regardless of comprehension level. Research has shown that foreign language exposure sparks language learning.

If you have any questions, email education[at]

Indigenous Spotlight

From Palestine to New Zealand to Turtle Island, R2R’s Indigenous Spotlight celebrates tradition expressed in new and thoughtful ways. Dance and song, animation and documentation, even experimentation open a window to these rich and sacred worlds.

Recommended for grades 5-8

Themes: language revitalization, traditional ways of life, poetry, family, spirit worlds

Animation from Many Nations

Taking R2R audiences on an armchair journey around the globe, with films from Russia, the UK, Australia, the USA, Mexico, Lebanon, Sweden, China, and France, these shorts are filled with light-hearted joy that is fun for all ages.

Recommended for grades 4-5

Themes: friendship, comedy, Indigenous teachings, science, music, community, animation

The Small Ones who Understand

Straightforward narratives reveal the wondrous nuance of the lives of young people and those they relate to or connect with. These precious inner worlds are brimming with humanity and openness.

Recommended for grades 4-7

Themes: self-reliance, friendship, morality, compassion, art, learning, self-development

Doc – Made in Canada Edition

These documentaries don’t have much in common, except that they were all made by Canadians and Indigenous Canadians. One film is about the intimate experience of coming out to one’s family; another film takes viewers deep into a secluded pine forest. A third film explores the confines of an overpopulated dog pound in Morocco. Together these films bring us to places we are not often acquainted with, offering new insights and perspectives.

Recommended for grades 6-7

Themes: cycle of life, refugee plight, LGBTQ+ experience, language revitalization, new perspectives, documentary

Connect: Family Matters

These short films are among the more tonally serious programs intended for this age group, they are rich with empathy and emotional complexity. Family connections take centre stage and fill the room with myriad forms of love and the struggle it sometimes takes to give and receive the love we want and need. This is a must-see collection for families and students alike.

Recommended for grades 4-7

Themes: love, shame, gender, generational divide, loss, sibling rivalry, parental love, inner worlds, racism, compassion family relationships

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