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Film festivals aren’t just a platform for true-but-tragic Oscar contenders and art house movies destined for art house cinema. This year’s Toronto International Film Festival featured some serious feel-good flicks that take place in the real world but don’t end in tears. (Okay, some of them do, but the tears are happy ones.)

With our newsfeeds flooded daily by reports on everything that’s wrong with the world, it’s easy to feel like solutions to our biggest problems are further away than Mars. That’s why movies like these are so important: They tell the stories people who’ve had a positive effect on the world—even in the face of massive hurdles. Some are true, some are fiction, and all of them will make you believe in the indomitability of the human spirit—at least for a few hours.