I was an introverted teen, but I loved going to TIFF Bell Lightbox to immerse myself in films. I have fond holiday memories of singing along to The Sound of Music with my cousins, and there were always Filipino movies playing in the background at our family parties. I really believe my early experiences with film helped widen my imagination and develop my ability to empathize with all kinds of people.
As I got older, I kept going to TIFF as often as I could. To be honest, I’m still an introverted adult, but I don’t just go to the movies to escape. I go to immerse myself in new worlds, and to be part of a community that loves and shares powerful, personal stories. I’m proud to say TIFF Bell Lightbox feels like my second home.
My name is Emily Dela Cruz, and I’m a first-generation film fan. I became a TIFF donor for the first time this year, and I’m writing to thank you for supporting TIFF.
Me at TIFF Bell Lightbox
There are a lot of reasons to give to TIFF, but what inspired me to become a first time donor was Share Her Journey, TIFF’s campaign to increase opportunities for women in front of and behind the camera.
I’m a young woman working in Toronto’s tech sector, and I know what it’s like to be seen and treated differently -- and to feel like there’s not much I can do about it. Share Her Journey showed me that TIFF is willing to use its power to take a stand for women like me, and I wanted to become more involved.
So I made a donation.
It wasn’t massive or anything, but I knew it was going towards something I really believed in and to an organization that was paying attention to what was going on in the world.
As the new year approaches, I’m asking you to think about what TIFF means to you. Think about the last time you saw a movie at TIFF Bell Lightbox, or took your family to TIFF Kids, or felt the buzz of the September Festival. But also think about the programs TIFF runs to allow other people to experience film and to empower people to share their unique stories. People like me!