Celebrating its sixth year this weekend, CFF provides a public showcase for Canadian filmmakers, giving them the opportunity to screen their work back to the communities that inspired it. “I love Hollywood movies, but sometimes I wish I could watch a movie where Toronto plays Toronto! Not New York, or Detroit, or Chicago,” said Bern Euler, the Festival Director in an email to the newspaper earlier this week.
As almost anyone working in the Canadian film industry will tell you, it doesn’t have the glamour--or support--of the business in the United States. According to Euler, “Our industry is filled with amazing talent behind and in front of camera, and they are continuously producing interesting and excellent films,” but to the average Canadian, it’s access to these outlets that poses a challenge. Even with the past appearances of well-known Canadian actors like Sarah Polley, and relatively well-known writers like Kenny Hotz and Spencer Rice (of Kenny vs. Spenny fame, who both had their feature debut films at CFF), it is a shame that the CFF seems to attract largely those already “in the know” about film-making in Canada.
If that is the case, though, it is certainly not intentional. This year’s lineup features everything from full-length zombie features to experimental sci-fi shorts; it’s evident that one of the programming goals is to provide something for everyone. With free panels on topics like the genre-movie scene, CFF also hopes to provide an engaging educational platform for the public and aspiring producers and directors alike.
Part of the appeal of this sort of fest is the inclusion of the public in accessing those behind the scenes of the films. Euler is enthused about the special guests and said “...that sense of community and audience interaction is why we are doing all this.” This sort of passion for the community, and supporting the unique voices within it, is almost decidedly Canadian, eh?
For more information, visit canfilmfest.ca. CFF takes place at The Royal, 608 College Street.