From: Reuters
Published May 29, 2008 05:35 PM

Canadian film festival to highlight breast cancer

By Ashleigh Patterson

TORONTO (Reuters) - Toronto will host a movie event billed as the world's first-ever film festival dedicated to breast cancer awareness, a Canadian charity said.

Breast Fest will showcase feature-length and short films, documentaries, animation, and experimental works that highlight breast cancer, an illness that afflicts more than 1 million women worldwide each year.

"We want this to be international and we want people to be able to share their experiences with breast cancer from their perspective from within their country and their unique experience," MJ DeCoteau, the executive director of the charity Rethink Breast Cancer which is organizing the event, said in an interview.

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A selection committee that includes Allen Braude, co-director, learning, Toronto International Film Festival Group, and Shannon Abel, a senior international programmer for the Hot Docs Festival, will review submissions for Breast Fest which will run from Nov 21-22.

"We've been able to garner the interest of some top people because everyone wants to be a part of something new and innovative that has never been done before," DeCoteau added.

The charity is also accepting YouTube submissions from around the globe for the short film competition, which will be judged by the public online on the festival's website -- www.breastfestfilmfest.com/index.shtml

"We're hoping that people from around the world will judge it and that it will actually become an online resource, and people can see how breast cancer is experienced differently around the world," DeCoteau explained.

Breast cancer is the most common female cancer in the world and represents seven percent of the more than 7.6 million cancer-related deaths worldwide, according to the National Cancer Institute of Canada.

Reuters/Nielsen

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