PARRSBORO – The Parrsboro Film Festival is growing up.
Heading into their seventh annual event this weekend, coordinators Lori Lynch and Helen Tyson said they can feel a difference now that they have left behind their shiny beginnings and are now an expected stop for the burgeoning Atlantic film scene.
“Here we are, seven years in, and it’s a point where you can either say you can’t go on anymore, or you can go and become one of the longer ones,” said Lynch. “I think we feel a bit like we’re joining the established film festival circuit in Nova Scotia.”
The festival has held true to its mandate of promoting Atlantic Canadian films and filmmakers, and will do so again with this year’s packed lineup.
The festival has been around long enough now, that the organizers have seen many of its filmmakers go on to successful careers in the industry.
“I think, in a way, we are still an avenue or a tool for local filmmakers to start getting things seen,” said Tyson. “That’s what we’re most receptive and open to. We have several people in this year’s festival… we watched them grow up.”
This year’s festival will open on the evening of Friday, Oct. 27, featuring Kunstglaser, a short documentary by Ben Proudfoot, followed by two films from this year’s featured filmmaker at the festival, John Walker. Shown will be Quebec My Country Mon Pays, and Men of the Deeps.
Saturday morning will feature the annual short film competition, featuring 14 different submitted works. The afternoon will feature The Beautifully Drowned by Jon Dewar, and Perfume War by Mike Melski. Saturday evening will feature Maudie, directed by Aisling Walsh, and The River of My Dreams: A Portrait of Gordon Pinsent, directed by Brigitte Berman.
Sunday morning will feature The Water of Life, directed and animated by Scott MacLeod, while Sunday afternoon will feature Head Space, by Nicole Steeves, and Beerocracy, by Shauna Chase and Alex Vietinghoff. Wrapping things up will be Why Not Now: John Henry, a short documentary by Ben Proudfoot.
All of the feature films, except with the possible exception of one, will have either the director or another guest speaker on hand for a Q&A session, an aspect Tyson feels is important to the festival.
“We book ourselves as the friendly film festival, where we have lots of opportunity to interact with the filmmakers and not just look at them, like a red carpet,” she said. “So they can see how people are reacting to their work, and they get a chance to talk to people about the film, why they made it that way, what was difficult, what worked, what was the inspiration. It excites me when we get a lot of filmmakers here.”
A detailed schedule, and more information, is available at the festival’s website at www.parrsborofilmfestival.com.