ACTRA Toronto’s Young Emerging Actors Assembly (YEAA) presented short films at ReelWorld Film Festival for the third year, impressing the packed house with seven incredibly powerful and wonderfully executed shorts tackling a number of difficult topics such as suicide, homosexuality, immigration, police brutality, racism and the fetishism of culture.

The shorts were written by and starred young, Canadian actors, focusing on stories and a cast that emphasized the diversity of Canada.

It is incredibly difficult to make films, but if you are willing to go through all those obstacles, you can get it done. – Bobby Del Rio

Programmer Bobby Del Rio brought the directors, producers and cast to the front following the viewings to receive praise for their amazing work.

“They are creating films knowing that their world premiere is going to be at ReelWorld. Once you know that people are going to see your work, it kind of gives you that confidence that you need to keep going. It is incredibly difficult to make films, but if you are willing to go through all those obstacles, you can get it done,” says Del Rio.

Mars Is Laughing At Us, written by Ryan Kotack and directed by Jonathan Dubsky and AndreSills, was incredibly moving, highlighting the effects of the murder of Toronto teen Sammy Yatim on the city’s youth, indicating the measures of racism that exist even in one of the most multicultural cities in the world.

#Cold was a comedic and charming short about a young man on the verge of suicide, who runs into an old friend that changes his perspective on life, in turn, saving his. The quirky characters and witty dialogue won over the audience who clapped immensely as the credits rolled.

With a room full of talent, it became abundantly clear that the future of Canadian filmmaking, screen-writing and acting is in good hands with ACTRA and the YEAA group.

Words By. Samantha O’Connor

By taking in her nickname, One Woman Army, it’s easy to understand the grind of Urbanology Magazine's Samantha O’Connor. Over the past two years with the magazine, she has positioned herself in the heart of Toronto’s urban music scene. She has interviewed the likes of Kendrick Lamar, Pusha T, DJ Drama, Ciara, Tech N9ne, Machine Gun Kelly and Melanie Fiona, and reviewed live shows from artists such as Jay Z, Kanye West, Lauryn Hill, Juicy J, Wiz Khalifa and Action Bronson, to name a few. With a passion for the culture and helping build the future of the Toronto hip-hop community, she is the visionary behind Samantics, one of the original columns featured on

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