Intimate setting of Parrsboro Film Festival ideal for directors

Dave Mathieson
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Parrsboro Film Festival co-ordinator, Helen Tyson, introduces the festivals final screening, Wilby Wonderful, Sunday at the Parrsboro Film Festival.

PARRSBORO - The third annual Parrsboro Film Festival provided an intimate forum for directors to express their vision.

“The film had the most amazing reception I could hope for,” said Jason Young, director of Bad Coyote, a documentary that focuses on the conflicting relationship between humans and coyotes. “It’s a wonderful place to present the film. It’s really ideal.”

After his 52-minute film was screened, Young took questions from the audience. He said he liked the intimacy of the venue.

“I had incredible feedback from everybody. It was really quite satisfying,” said Young.

“Everybody can relate to this issue here because everybody is aware of the coyote issue,” he added. “It’s a universal thing. Wildlife really piques people’s interest.”

Helen Tyson, who co-ordinates the festival with Lori Lynch, helped pick all the films screened at the festival.

“I love all the films. I helped pick them, but Charlie Zone knocked me out,” said Tyson. “It was the one I was most concerned about because it’s extremely violent and depicts the roughest areas in Dartmouth, but people responded very positively to it.”

The director, Michael Melski, spoke before Charlie Zone was screened to help put the film in context.

“Despite the violence, I love stories about people rescuing themselves,” said Tyson. “And Charlie Zone is about two people trying to rescue themselves.”

Tyson said they drew large audiences to most of the films and the response was very positive.

“People who never thought of making a film in their life say, ‘You know, I’d like to make a film now,’ and that’s what we wanted,” said Tyson. “Next year I think we’ll have a bit of a theme to the festival, perhaps have some workshops about how they make films. We try to have something a little different every year.”

Young has attended a lot of film festivals and said the Parrsboro festival is very professional.

“The promotion has been incredible and they had a great program here,” said Young. “I’d love to come back here anytime. I was thinking of talking to Helen about a film I made a long time ago called Animals; it’s sort of relevant too, so I thought she’d like to screen that.”

For now he’s working on a film about gun violence in the Halifax area.

“It’s a universal problem but the film is rooted in what was going on in Halifax and Dartmouth and all the shootings,” said Young. “A couple of the really senseless ones, like the cab driver being shot, really, really bothered me. I really have a major aversion to guns, for whatever reason, I don’t like them at all.”

Tyson thanked everybody who helped make the festival a success.

“There are only two co-ordinators but there’s a huge number of volunteers,” said Tyson. “With two people you can make decisions very easily but you need a huge base of volunteers.

“People billeted folks, they contributed time, money, effort, and our beautiful logo was contributed by artists,” she added. “I’ve almost stopped thinking of this as the Parrsboro Film Festival. I think of it as Parrsboro’s Film Festival. It belongs to all the community.”

Parrsboro Film Festival Award Winners

Audience Selections

– Audience Favourite Feature Film – Black Bird

– Audience Favourite Film, Under Five Minutes – Ty between Congratulations and Candle Light.

– Audience Favourite for a Film Between Five and 20 Minutes – Fort

 Jury Selections

– Film Under Five Minutes – Candlelight

– Film Between Five and 20 minutes – Two-Penny Roadkill


Geographic location: Parrsboro, Dartmouth, Halifax

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