After in-person screenings in Whitby, Ajax and Oshawa, DRIFF moves to virtual format


Published October 5, 2022 at 3:32 pm

Stay the Night, starring Andrea Bang (Kim's Convenience) and Joe Scarpellini (The Parent Family)

The Durham Region International Film Festival (DRIFF) returned to venues across Durham this past weekend, offering three days of curated, in-person programming from around the globe, with a focus on Canadian and local productions.

After an opening gala and screening in Whitby, followed by an evening of films in Ajax, the festival moved to the Biltmore Theatre in Oshawa for a full day of short films, features.

The festival continues this week with virtual screenings that will continue through to October 9 on a new On-Demand platform that can be found at

The virtual lineup is made up of 30 films in the following categories: Documentary Feature, Narrative Feature, The Dark Side Shorts, True North Shorts (Canadian), International Shorts, and Homegrown Shorts (Ontario). Virtual festival-goers can opt to watch a single programme for $10, or the entire DRIFF 2022 virtual catalogue for only $15.

If you missed the in-person programming last week, DRIFF’s opening night feature film STAY THE NIGHT (Canada) by Renuka Jeyapalan (Kim’s Convenience, Workin’ Moms, Ginny and Georgia), is part of the Narrative Features Programme. It’s a warm and engaging romantic drama about the very single and very inexperienced (in the world of dating) Grace who is prompted by a failed work opportunity to pursue a one-night stand with a stranger. It turns out he’s an on-the-outs professional hockey player with a problem of his own, and the two develop a connection neither of them expected.

The Homegrown Shorts program features films from Ontario filmmakers that were screened to a wildly enthusiastic live audience at the Biltmore on Saturday. This program is also available in the virtual lineup, in addition to 22 films that were not shown in DRIFF’s in-person screenings.

A panel of independent judges awarded cash prizes to the six following films in the virtual lineup:

  • Best Canadian Short: NUISANCE BEAR by Jack Weisman and Gabriela Osio Vanden (Canada)
  • Best Documentary: LOVE IN THE TIME OF FENTANYL by Colin Askey (Canada)
  • Best Feature: CARAJITA by Ulises Porra and Silvina Schnicer (Dominican Republic)
  • Best International Short: IDENTIBYE by Sajjad Shahhatami (Iran)
  • Best Student Film: FEELING THE APOCALYPSE by Chen Sing Yap (Canada)
  • Best Regional Film: HE COMES AT NIGHT by Joseph Covello (Canada). This particular film is available only until 11:59 p.m. on October 5.

The film winning the People’s Choice Award will be announced on and on DRIFF’s social media platforms (@catchthedriff) following the completion of the virtual screenings on October 9. Anyone who purchased a ticket to the in-person or virtual screenings has the opportunity to vote.

The virtual lineup is available for streaming now at

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