About HCFF


The Hamilton Comedy Film Festival is a welcoming environment for both experienced and first time comedy film makers. The HCFF takes place in Hamilton Ontario, Canada, birthplace and home for some of the funniest people in the world: Martin Short, Eugene Levy, Ivan Reitman, The Imponderables, Jason Rouse. We want you to help us keep the Ham in Hamilton!

Hamilton is one of Canada’s fastest growing art centres. In the past decade there has been an explosion in the local arts community as an influx of talent has cross-pollinated with our homegrown passion to create. The result has been a spectacular mix of urban renewal and grassroots foundation-building in the arts. Hamilton is happening but don’t think we’re all gentrified…Hamiltonians are real, gritty and love to laugh!

Staircase Good Exterior Shot

We will be screening films and staging performances at Hamilton’s Arts Incubator THE STAIRCASE THEATRE. What began as one of the first Hydro Electric Substations in Canada in 1914 still sees the energy flowing. The Staircase is an artistic gathering place for actors, comedians, filmmakers, singers, songwriters, musicians, poets, writers and dancers who want to produce their own work. The Staircase is a jewel in Hamilton’s cultural crown and showcases over 100 events monthly.






The Cockwhisperer Pic 4


‘A one-woman, tour de forced-entry, Colette Kendall is not a woman to be trifled with. Her tongue is sharper than a vodka high colonic’ Xtra Magazine.
‘A fearless performer..her candor is often shocking but it’s also hilarious’…The Georgia Straight… ‘brash, sassy and funny’ says Winnipeg’s Uptown Magazine.

Just a few dog years ago Hamiltonian housewife and mom to 3, Colette Kendall, tucked her young children into bed and made her stand-up debut. Despite the lack of a theatrical background, as a 40th birthday present to herself Colette wrote, produced, directed and performed in her own lone woman show. Today, she continues to tour across Canada to rave reviews and sold out houses with her works: Tippi Seagram’s Happy Hour, Who’s Afraid of Tippi Seagram? and The Cockwhisperer – A Love Story.

Colette’s first Canadian tour garnered her a nomination for : a prestigious Canadian Comedy Award for Best One Person Show and the Georgia Straight’s Critic’s Pick Award for Tippi Seagram’s Happy Hour 2006. 2009 saw her second nomination from the CCA’s, for Who’s Afraid of Tippi Seagram? Three for three, The Cockwhisperer-A Love Story was nominated in 2012, making Colette the unofficial Susan Lucci of the CCA’s. Finally winning something in 2012, the City of Hamilton bestowed Colette with the Arts Award for Established Theatre Artist.

Colette has trained in improvisation with The Second City and has been a member of the Staircase, Bad Dog and Impatient Theatre mainstage casts. She performs stand-up as both a headliner and emcee and was a Top 10 Finalist in the Canada-Wide Corner Gas Comic Genius Contest. A passion for live theatre lead Colette to receive a career highlight when she was cast alongside Laverne and Shirley’s, Cindy Williams and Three’s Company’s, Joyce DeWitt, in the Stage West production of The Vagina Monologues. Colette has appeared in several festival featured award winning independent films including the 2009 Official Sundance selection, Ten for Grandpa. She can also be seen as Mrs. Stone in the HBO/ Julia Roberts produced feature film, Kit Kittredge: An American Girl, opposite Julia Ormond in this star studded cast.

Never a dull moment, Colette is Executive and Artistic Director of The Staircase Theatre. Here she incubates new and emerging local talent, invites touring artists to establish fan bases in other cities, and programs and creates upwards of 100 cultural and artistic events monthly including new original works by artists such as Sky Gilbert, Alison Wearing, Radha Menon. Colette has worked directly with Nathan Fleet, Hamilton Film Festival Director, for the past 7 years to help create a solid, well respected, grassroots film festival in The Hamilton Film Festival.



Keith Toms has worked in the Canadian Film and Television production industry since 1984 as a production manager, assistant director, line producer and producer. He works in both advertising and long-format production. His most recent documentary film Under Fire: Journalists in Combat was short-listed for an Academy Award and received the 2013 Peabody Award for Excellence in Broadcast Journalism. It is currently available on Netflix.