Get Brianna to Toronto Film Fest

$2,041 of $2,880 goal

Raised by 39 people in 4 months

We are trying to get Brianna Jonnie, her mom, and ourselves to the Toronto Independent Film Festival for the screening of our film "If I Go Missing".


The film is an art-fueled short documentary about Indigenous teen activist Brianna Jonnie, who is ridiculed by her city and the media for simply asking that at-risk Indigenous youth be given equal treatment if they go missing.

Our story:

When we first saw Brianna making Winnipeg headlines, we also saw that the ways her story was being handled by media and the public were generally geared toward supporting their own aims. Things like creating controversy with her message to fuel web traffic. We found as well that the comment sections were being led by destructive and hurtful racism and sexism. No surprise there.

Brianna's message was good. But it was getting crushed, twisted, and silenced.

We wanted desperately to give Brianna the platform she needed to deliver her simple message that we should be in this together, and that everybody should feel loved. So we did. We pitched a film to Bravo and and they said yes!

They even gave us a healthy budget of $39,400 to make the  film. And we put every cent of that into the making of the film, and then some.

We hired a professional choreographer for a dance segment, top-notch directors of photography to film it, a beautiful band to perform an original song exclusive to this film, a remarkable original music composer and musicians, and we worked with Brianna to truly make it about her message, avoiding intrusion wherever we could. I myself am an award-winning journalist and filmmaker, and I donated all the time I could to the production, direction and editing of this film.

We cared so much about this presentation, that we put a lot of our own financial resources into it too.

All told, the film cost us over $48,000 to make, and between getting gouged by middle-men, and well deserved pay for professional services rendered, we haven't made a dime in profit. In fact, we still owe money.

But this isn't about the money. It's about standing up for what is right. And Brianna is right. Everyone should feel loved. Kids in danger shouldn't be ignored because of prejudice. That is deadly to those kids. We shouldn't be divided into "us and them". And we should be involved, physically, in the well-being of our communities, regardless of race or age or our own prejudices.

This film says all that with so much more than words.

Everybody should see this film.

And this step is about exactly that.


As an official selection of the Toronto Independent Film Festival, it is extremely important that we make it to the screening of this film.

But, long story short:   We're out of money.   :(


Can you help us get ourselves and Brianna to this festival? We're tapped out, folks.

This is a huge opportunity we can't afford to miss. Industry professionals scout this festival like mad. There is a good chance we can get a much wider distribution and bring this film to millions of people! All we need is a bit of money to get there. We are only asking for airfare and hotels.

And we want to bring Brianna's mom too. Because she is Brianna's rock. And we don't think she should miss a second of this either. Her mom is very insistent that we focus on getting ourselves and Brianna there first before she will accept any money to go.

The festival starts on September 6.

Please help us. We would be so grateful.

It would mean the world to so many. It would help humanize this issue. But more importantly, it would show at-risk kids that people do care. That we are out there trying our best.


Here is a cost Breakdown:

$1896  covers round-trip economy airfare for me (the producer/director), Angie the production manager, Brianna and her mom Amanda.

$720 covers hotels for Angie and I, for the four days we will need to network this thing and get a good distributor. Brianna and her mom will be hosted by their relatives in the area.

We worked to find the cheapest air and hotel rates we could in the area, and these  rates represent estimates of the mean cost of the lowest compared prices.

If by some miracle, we make more than our goal, that will be used for taxi reimbursements and meal per diems for Brianna and her mom. Any extra overflow will be put toward a possible trip to Utah for Sundance this year, which we have also entered this film in. If there are still extra funds leftover after that trip, we will donate them to action-based child protection groups such as Guardians of the Children or Operation Underground Railroad. Or you can specify privately what you'd like us to do with any leftover money, and we will do our best to accommodate.


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We’ve been going to screenings, having meetings, networking the TIFF and generally giving it our all this week. Pictured here at the World Premiere of If I Go Missing are Coady Nickerson DP, Byron Hamel Producer/Director, Brianna Jonnie, Angela Bellingham Production Manager, and Cynthia Jones DP!
Here we are at the Toronto Indie!
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Hey everyone!

We are eternally grateful to you that you made it possible for us to attend our world premiere screening at the Toronto Independent Film Festival TOMORROW!

There will be more updates with pictures soon. Today we're all headed to the city.

What a beautiful thing it was for you all to come together and support the fight for racial equality and support for ALL at-risk children.

You are absolute angels.

If you happen to be in Toronto, tickets to the show are still available at here: https://omniwebticketing4.com/imaginecinemas/carlton-cinema/?schdate=2018-09-06&perfix=69223

Again, thank you so much for helping us cover over TWO THIRDS of the costs!

We are grateful and it fills our hearts with joy to know that so many people are showing their care in such a significant way.

All our best.

Stand by for pictures soon.
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Folks going to our screening of "If I Go Missing" at the Toronto Independent Film Festival:

Please stand by for an announcement here on my timeline either tonight or tomorrow about ticket sales. Seats sell out very quickly at these things, so please be watchful so you don't miss the opportunity.

For now, here are the details we have about our screening...

We will be the first film in a block of short films beginning at 7:30pm on Thursday September 6 at Carlton Cinema in Toronto Ontario.

20 Carlton St. at Yonge
Toronto, ON M5B 2H5

Tickets are supposed to go on sale tomorrow, available through the Carlton website located here https://imaginecinemas.com/theatres/carlton-cinema/

Word is they are around $10
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Hi everyone!

First, we're really humbled and grateful for all of your support and belief in this project.

So far, we have about two thirds of what we need. And that means we've been able to cover the remainder of the expenses out of pocket.

That is to say, everybody who is going to Toronto is now booked . On that note, we do have to sadly report that Brianna's mom is unable to attend due to work-related reasons.

We're going to miss her at this festival, but hopefully she can join us for Sundance if/when we get officially selected for that festival.

That doesn't mean the money we need has gone down however. In fact, it's gone up. Initial estimates for hotels were based on normal rates in the area, but the hotels all inflate their prices because of the TIFF, a huge film festival operating at the same time as the Toronto Independent Film Festival (which we're also planning on crashing while in the city).

The new total cost for us is slightly more than the original estimate. It is now $2880, which is an increase of $284.

The good news is YOU DID IT! You got us there.

We're going to try our best to find the money to make up for the remainder, but we will definitely continue this crowdfunding campaign. Don't forget we're still raising for Sundance, the biggest American industry-connected festival, and also Festival de Cannes in France.

So please keep sharing and talking about this project.

We hope to post some new pictures and videos soon!

All the best from us,
Byron Hamel
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$2,041 of $2,880 goal

Raised by 39 people in 4 months
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