Okay, before I start, I’m going to suggest you watch the teaser below to get a little taste of what’s coming to Owen Sound on Sept 29/30, so that, for example, when I mention my friend Larry Cavero starring in a Great Lakes surfing film In Season, you’ll know just which smiling face I’m talking about. And when I bring up the footage of Georgian College’s Owen Sound campus used for The Mariner, you might just recognize the Simulator if you’ve ever taken a tour of the campus.
Official Selection List:
Mariner – Thyrone Tommy
The Tesla World Light – Matthew Rankin
Fix and Release – Scott Dobson
To Build a Fire – Fx Goby
In Season – Sydney Boniface
Chiaroscuro – Amy Bourgaize
The Grand Journey Here – Christopher Healey
Power – Liz Zetlin
Métissage: From Nawash to Mudtown – Nelson Phillips
The 60% Man – Jake Burgess and Mack Muir
The Artist Series – Wesley Bates – Ronan Bryson
THE BOUDOIR – David Latreille
We Are North Stars – Keegan W. Ringel and Justin Wilkinson
1883 – Ben Bruhmuller
Celeste – Ivy Yukiko Ishihara Oldford
Did you watch it? Pretty cool huh?
Did you notice the film about Owen Sound lacrosse culture called We Are Northstars? See that footage from Georgian College? Catch the one about the woman who saves turtles? (I once saved a dozen turtles on Grey County roads because I wanted to impress a girl…I mean because I love turtles); I hope you were as excited as I was about seeing local musicians and spoken word poets in Mettissage: from Newash to Mudtown; I’m sure you saw the Artists’ Series with some really interesting styles, including Jack London style animations. And of course, I hope that seeing those friends of mine carving hard into Great Lakes waves in In Season made you consider getting out surfing this fall.
But one thing you may not have noticed was that 50% of the entries this year were local!
Yup, we’ve got so many damn talented people in this area that we can fill half a film festival. Gotta hand it to SCFF organizers Nelson Phillips, Wendel Brooks and Myke Dyer for putting the emphasis on our homegrown talent this year.
And speaking of local artists, William Andrew Finlay Stewart is doing something really cool in the week leading up to the Festival. You know the old Bingo Hall across from the Heartwood right? Well, get this – he’s lighting up the downtown storefront from dusk to dawn using two large screens that will reflect city culture and the aesthetic of the old Hall. It’s called BINGO BINGO BINGO BINGO and it starts Monday evening.
Nelson Phillips couldn’t be more excited about the direction of the fest. “The local film community is starting to evolve and grow and perhaps, more importantly, is beginning to coax different demographics to the festival” Phillips says. “It’ll be really awesome….to blend the perceived opposite sports cultures of lacrosse and surfing, for example, and hopefully see both scenes mingling in one space connecting via cinema.”
SCFF made the decision to screen A Ghost Story on Friday night after their Grub Crawl, and the response has been great. “We’ve already seen some increased hype from screening a narrative film, so we’ll probably explore that for next year as well” Phillips says.
Judging from the local talent that has emerged in just one year since the last Scenic City Film Festival, next year’s fest is bound to continue that trend and present themes that we hold dear in this area, like surfing, lacrosse, music, and poetry.
The guys from SCFF are hot off a successful entry into Summerfolk this past summer where they brought a new artistic medium to an event that’s long been known mainly for music. And they’ve been busy this year presenting films like Spirit Unforgettable about the devastation of Alzheimer’s on Canadian iconic band Spirit of the West.
But the Film Festival is their main event, and boy are they delivering in 2017!
So, I’ll leave you with another little taste (I’m trying to reference the Grub Crawl with this use of ‘taste’ in the article, but I don’t know if it’s working so I’m just going to be blunt at this point) of the Mike Lewis Trio, who you’ll be hearing throughout the evening. They’ll also be playing during the after party when the awards have been given out. And that’s the other thing about this event: you get to pick your favs and see who wins. You get to hear filmmakers speak about their work. And you get to drink some great local beers while doing it, thanks to the Corkscrew City initiative.
So I say – come for the films, and stay for the party.
Written by Jesse Wilkinson