Fernie Really Loves Film!

When I started thinking about this month’s column, I was a little concerned that I wouldn’t have enough content. The Fernie Mountain Film Festival and The Reel Canadian Film Festival have wowed and waved goodbye, the various film series are wrapping up;- IFF closes on Monday April 4 with Broken Embraces starring Penelope Cruz, Think Tank offers food for thought in the final film of the season No Impact Man on April 15.

The clocks have gone forward, the evenings are warmer. As we end the film season, thoughts are turning to biking, fishing, boating; watching films becomes a lower priority. Sure, a summer night at the movies is a great way to finish off a day of fun at the beach or on the river, but the average summer flick is usually light entertainment, (emphasis on ‘light’) not the stuff of inspiration and motivation. It turns out there’s no shortage of the moments that dreams are made of though and the spring and summer are when it all kicks in to gear- it’s time to stop watching and start doing!

Over the past few weeks I’ve been hearing about many film courses and film projects planned for the summer, so I went hunting for who’s-doing-what and how you can get involved. First off, I spoke with Josh Marr; I’ve worked with him on various film projects such as the Reel Film Fest and Indie Films Fernie and I already know he hopes one day we’ll have our own film co-op here in Fernie to support aspiring young film-makers and encourage new film production. Josh is a young film-maker who is already one step ahead of the game- he’s been featured here in the Fix in previous issues, keeps a keen eye out for projects going on around Fernie and is always on the lookout for new talent, scripts, technology… anything he can work with! He’s got plenty going on right now- Josh is a keen environmental activist and is working on a film about the Flathead Valley to showcase the beauty and diversity of the area and raise awareness of the need for preservation there. He’ll also be teaching this summer for the College of the Rockies at their summer film camp and is currently working on a film about Hot Dog Day. If you’re interested in any of Josh’s projects you can contact him at 250-423-1211.

There’s other ways to get involved too- the Fernie Heritage Library is offering a four-week workshop on the fourth Thursday of every month in partnership with the Reel Canadian Film Festival. The focus will be on short films and cover such topics as production, budget, directing, storyline and character development. The group started in March but everyone is welcome to join up in April- dates are April 22, May 27 and June 24. Contact Sandra Summerfield for more information and to sign up: communityprogrammer@fernieheritagelibrary.com

The Fernie Writer’s conference also supports the film industry. This year’s screenwriting course (July 19-24) features Geo Takach and will include a screening of his film Will the Real Alberta Please Stand Up. Geo has suffered for his art, and now he’d like it to be your turn! Scholarships are available for this course and all Fernie Writers' Conference programs. For more information including dates and how to sign up, please visit www.ferniewriters.com.

While I prefer to stay firmly on the viewing side of the screen, I couldn’t help getting involved in one last project. Lovers in a Dangerous Time is a feature length drama/comedy from Creston film-maker Mark Hug and May Charters from Toronto. Winner of the Okanagan International Film Festival’s ‘Best Canadian Feature 2009,’ and the Maverick Award at Method Fest, this film will be coming to Fernie in late May. Look out for a special screening with guests Mark and May accompanying the film. For more info about the movie visit www.inadangeroustime.com