Musings from the ever-changing, ever-amazing and occasionally ever-baffling Fort McMurray, Alberta.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

interPLAY 2011 Film Festival

Well, people, it's interPLAY Eve at my house, and while the excitement level isn't quite the same fever-pitch as Christmas Eve it's still pretty damn exciting - because around here we LOVE interPLAY! interPLAY 2011 kicks off tonight with a free community BBQ, and then tomorrow the event truly begins.

There is so very much about interPLAY that I am crazy about, and over the weekend I plan to take in as much as I can, and write about as much as possible, too. This year, however, I am perhaps most keenly excited about the inaugural interPLAY Film Festival, co-hosted by Events Wood Buffalo and YMMPodcast. I love independent films, but I love bold ideas even more, and the concept of a Fort McMurray film festival is a very bold idea. This isn't necessarily a city people would point to when asked to select a place that embraces things like independent films - and yet here we are, with our own film festival! So, kudos to Events Wood Buffalo and YMMPodcast for taking this leap of faith and bringing this new venture to our city. Now what we need to do, people, is to make sure that this is only the first of many more film festivals - and the only way to do that is to get out there and support it.

The films will be screening at the Keyano Recital Theatre on Friday at 7 pm, Saturday at 7:30, and Sunday at 7 pm. Admission is only $5, and you can purchase tickets at the interPLAY Box Office. If you have purchased an interPLAY Passport (as I have, and for $39 it's a steal, people - I highly recommend it!) then you can just pop by the box office and pick up tickets for the screenings. Each night there will be about three hours of movies with an intermission - so for $5 that's one helluva deal. Sunday night will also be when the results of the 48-Hour Film Challenge (teams are given 48 hours to write, film, and edit a short entry for judging) are screened, and the awards will be presented then as well.

I've gotten some advance insider info from my friend Toddske of YMMPodcast, and the film line-up is looking quite impressive. There are entries from local film-makers, but also from Russia, Germany, England, and the US. There are dramas, super-hero/comic book films, action flicks, and comedies - and there is the chance that some films may feature Academy Award nominated actors. Now, I'm not sure about anyone else, but to me that sounds pretty enticing, and I know where I will be for a good part of this interPLAY weekend.

People, interPLAY is like Christmas in another way - it only comes once a year. This is the opportunity for our local arts scene to shine, and it's the chance for all of us who live here to embrace it. Even if the Film Festival isn't your thing I sincerely hope you are making plans to take in some aspect of interPLAY, whether it's the live entertainment, the plays, or the street performers. This is my opinion, people - if there is only one event you attend this year in Fort Mac, one time you venture out of your house, then this is it. interPLAY is an event not to be missed, and I guarantee you won't be sorry you came. And for this one, Fort Mac, you will definitely see me there!

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