Film festivals are a vital aspect of the industry. Without them, most independent filmmakers would never get the chance to show off their talents to the world. Through these gatherings of artists and producers, indie films can find an audience or even a distributor.


One upcoming event is the Canadian Music Week Film Festival, hosted at The Royal Cinema in Toronto. There, several new independent fiction and documentary films involving music will be shown, with some getting their premiere.

Opening the festival is the documentary “Finding Fela!”. This film, directed by Alex Gibney, takes a look at the live of the Nigerian musician, Fela. Fela, creator of the Afrobeat movement, was an extremely influential artist, whose music was politically charged in a time when the Nigerian government was oppressive and dictatorial. That picture will play on May 8.


On May 9,  “Looking For Johnny: The Legend of Johnny Thunders” will be getting its Canadian debut at the festival. “Looking For Johnny” is another documentary, this time taking a stab at the life of Johnny Thunders. A solo artist and member of the Heartbreakers, Thunders universalized punk music with his guitar playing.


Closing out the show is the fiction-comedy “Frank,” starring Michael Fasbender as a peculiar musician who refuses to take off a huge, artificial head. Though “Frank,” directed by Lenny Abrahamson, has only gotten a limited release, it has received major acclaim at the Sundance and SXSW film festivals. “Frank” will be shown on May 10.


Other films being shown at the festival include “Jimi: All is by My Side,” “We Are The Best,” “Swim Little Fish Swim,” “Heaven Adores You: An Elliot Smith Project,” “Miami Connection,” and “Breadcrumb Trail.”


If you are in the Toronto area, be sure to check out this spectacular, music driven film festival. Let me know how it goes in the comments below, or reach out to me on Twitter @TuckerPoikonen.