Free flicks celebrate Canada
Art: Local society screening Canadian movies for international event
Wednesday, Apr 12, 2017 06:00 am
Lights will go down in two Okotoks venues to celebrate Canadian cinema next week.
The Okotoks Film Festival Society is offering three free public movie screenings of Canadian-made films in what’s being called the largest film festival in the world during National Canadian Film Day 150 on April 19.
Reel Canada has provided 150 quality Canadian films for communities to screen in celebration of National Canadian Film Day.
Katie Fournell, president of the Okotoks Film Festival Society board, said the society was all for it.
“Film is one of the only things that has found a way to communicate with everyone,” she said. “It’s one of the only art forms that easily talks to any type of person. People from all walks of life can name their favourite movie, but they can’t necessarily name their favourite painter or play.”
On April 19, more than 1,700 screenings of Canadian films will take place in public spaces across the country, according to the canadianfilmday.ca website.
The first film to be screened in Okotoks will be Snowtime! in the Okotoks Public Library at 1 p.m.
The 90-minute children’s animation was originally filmed in French and is about the most epic snowball fight ever, based on the short story The Dog Who Stopped the War.
Next is Canadian war movie Passchendaele, which will show at the Okotoks Museum and Archives at 3 p.m.
Fournell said this two-hour movie was filmed in the Foothills by well-known Canadian filmmaker Paul Gross, who also stars in the film.
It tells the story of a Calgary World War I soldier who returns to Calgary after being wounded in the war but is called back to fight at Passchendaele.
“It’s got everything you would expect from an American war story, but it’s a Canadian story,” she said. “It’s got romance, it’s got fighting, it’s got blood and it’s got gore.”
Fournell said the film is fitting for the museum because of its exhibit featuring artifacts and information about the First World War.
Catering to the younger adult crowd will be 90-minute romantic comedy The F Word at the Okotoks Public Library at 6:30 p.m. starring Daniel Radcliffe, best known for his role in the Harry Potter movie series.
The F Word was filmed in Toronto and is about a man and woman who, despite forming an instant connection, are committed to keeping things platonic, which proves to be difficult.
“It’s a story about whether a guy and a girl can actually just be friends,” said Fournell. “We were trying to get something that caters more to a teenager and young adult audience.”
The public can attend just one movie or take them all in, said Fornell.
“They are three very distinctly different genres and they play one after another so there is time to get from one venue to another in between films,” she said. “With it being the Easter break we are hoping we get a lot of teenagers and kids out to Snowtime! and The F Word.”
A loonie concession will be available at all three movie showings to help raise money to fund the upcoming Okotoks International Film Festival.
Residents at the Heartland retirement living will watch the romantic sports comedy Men With Brooms, also directed and starring Gross, about a man who return to his small hometown to attend the funeral of his former curling coach and reunites with his old curling team to try to win the Golden Broom.
The Okotoks Film Festival Society hosts a variety of events that range from monthly flicks at Okotoks Cinemas to this June’s Okotoks International Film Festival, said Fournell.
“We really want to make Okotoks a film hub, to bring film to Okotoks and also to educate the filmmakers that we have and showcase them,” she said. “It’s a creative outlet that anybody can try. We really want people to understand that the arts are important just in general and this is something that you can pretty easily try your hand at, which is very exciting to us.”
The society has created opportunities for collaboration among local filmmakers, Fournell said.
“Lots of filmmakers were working independently and the mold is breaking on that,” she said. “One thing we are seeing happen is filmmakers are attending our festivals and attending our workshops and they are meeting each other and starting to talk to each other about their projects and collaborating on projects.
“The calibre of the projects is going up and the film industry in Okotoks is really starting to stay home.”
National Canadian Film Day is another way to celebrate Canadian filmmakers, said Fournell.
For more information and ratings for the movies go to canadianfilmday.ca