For 25 years Cinéfest Sudbury has been growing from a small beginning to its current position as one of the top film festivals in Canada.
Tammy Frick, the festival's executive director said Aug. 22 the festival has evolved over the years as it has become higher profiled. However, they continue to support local filmmakers by showcasing their works.
“We’ve always had a really serious objective and mandate wanting promote and support our northern film artists,” she said. “But what people have to realize also is Cinéfest Sudbury’s position as one of Canada’s international film festivals.”
She said it has been relatively easy to keep Northern Ontario films as part of the programme due to a “wonderful explosion where film is actually happening now in Northern Ontario.”
In Sudbury alone, filming has become more frequent and this city’s status as a go-to place for filmmakers is on the rise.
Mayor Marianne Matichuk was on hand to present Frick with a plaque on behalf of city council to congratulate the organizers on 25 years of success and encouraging economic growth in Sudbury through the film industry.
“I’ve seen it grow since (Frick) took over and I remember it was small when it first started,” Matichuk said. “But it’s become an economic driver in our community…it’s something we can be very, very proud of.”
She said the city has greatly benifited from the growing film industry in Northern Ontario saying filmmakers find Sudbury a preferable location to work in.
“We’re hearing from a lot of producers and directors that it’s very easy to film here. The community is very friendly and open to filming and it takes them a quarter of time to have something done. For example, in Toronto it could be a week before a road gets closed and here it could be a day.
"I think it’s because of all of the people involved.”
Frick said Cinéfest Sudbury has evolved to a point where audiences seek films of different cultures as “windows to the world,” especially in relation to the Anglophone and Francophone communities in Canada.
“In the early years of the festival there was very much that distinction. Knowing you have the francophone audience you bring in Quebec films,” she said. “What’s happened is, by introducing those films to an Anglophone audience by using subtitles, the English audience falls in love with the French films and vice versa.”
Internationally, Cinéfest Sudbury has been looking more and more at foreign films. Frick said audiences will see, although culturally different, foreign films explore a lot of the same issues we might see in our everyday lives.
When it was first brought to Sudbury,” Frick said, “who could have thought that 25 years later it would be as vibrant as it is.”
Cinéfest runs Sept. 14-22 and features full-length films, documentaries, shorts and animated productions. Programmes, festival passports and screening schedules will be available next week. For more information go to www.cinefest.com.
Cinéfest gala films schedule
The Art of the Steal
Sat, Sept. 14 7:00 PM
The Invisible Woman
Sun, Sept. 15 7:00 PM
Mon, Sept. 16 7:00 PM
Kill Your DarlingsTue, Sept. 17 7:00 PM
The Story of LukeWed, Sept. 18 7:00 PM
Thu, Sept. 19 7:00 PM
Fri, Sept. 20 7:00 PM
The Right Kind of Wrong
Sat, Sept. 21 7:00 PM
Award CeremonySat, Sept. 21 4:30 PM
Cas & DylanSun
Sept. 22 7:00 PM