Local viewing of Oscar's short film
Okotoks: Film society hosts screening of Academy Award nominees
Wednesday, Feb 15, 2017 10:58 am
Tuxedos and flashy gowns are not necessary for anyone seeking a front row seat to the top films in 2016.
The Okotoks Film Festival Society is bringing Oscar-nominated short films to the big screen in the Rotary Performing Arts Centre Feb. 23. Live action films will be shown at 6 p.m. and the animated films start at 8:30 p.m., with a repeat screening Feb. 24.
The Oscar nominations will be televised on Feb. 24 and the Academy Awards ceremony will be broadcast from the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, California Feb. 26.
“They are films people often times don’t get to see,” said Okotoks Film Festival director Katie Fournell of the short films. “The big Hollywood directors, many of them started with short films that were nominated for the Oscars.”
Fournell said they are generating hype for the inaugural Okotoks Film Festival June 2-4.
To date, the society received 725 short films from filmmakers, including three Okotoks filmmakers, she said.
“We have films being submitted from literally all over the world, which is great for the festival and even better for Okotoks,” she said. “A lot of filmmakers are turning their heads and looking at Okotoks.”
Fournell said she wants viewers to appreciate short films and understand their uniqueness from the more popular feature films.
“With short films you can tell the stories you can’t tell in a feature film,” she said. “The more experimental and artistic side of film in many ways can come out in short films.”
Short films are also a great way for filmmakers to start their careers, said Fournell.
“It’s the reason why festivals exist in the first place,” she said. “They can take those films to festivals and distributors can pick them up. The National Film Board (of Canada) distributes Canadian-made films to be screened at local screenings of short films.”
Sitting down to watch a series of short films can sometimes be more enjoyable than committing to a feature film, said Fournell.
“When you show a short film package, people are willing to sit down and watch a 15-minute film if it’s something out of the ordinary, yet they wouldn’t necessarily watch an hour and a half,” she said. “You can take more risks with a short film. I prefer short film packages over feature films because it’s more fun, there is more spontaneity in what you’re seeing.”
Such risks can range from making a political statement to documenting the day in a life of a cat. They’re often subjects feature filmmakers would be nervous to make, said Fournell.
Animation is also easier for independent filmmakers because of the money and time it takes to create them, she said.
“You sit down and you don’t really know what to expect in short films,” she said. “You get a taste of a whole bunch of different filmmakers in one sitting. You can see a story that makes you absolutely bawl and after that you see something that’s absolutely hilarious. That’s the beauty of seeing short-film packages.”
Viewers of the Oscar-nominated short films can vote for which they think will receive an Oscar in each the animated and live action categories. Those who guess correctly will be entered into a draw for two free passes to this spring’s film festival.
Tickets cost $15 to view either the animated or live action films, or $25 to view both, with proceeds going to the spring film festival.
To purchase tickets or for more information go to okotoksfilmmfestival.ca