Sunday, April 9, 2017

First Inaugural Maple Ridge Festival of BC Film March 17, 18 & 19, 2017

I was given the privilege of attending the first ever Maple Ridge Festival of BC Film. Why was it a privilege? Because I was given entry into the Festival by the connections I have made over the years doing this blog and loving every minute of it as well.
I had approached the festival as I have every other one that I have covered in the past. This being the first ever for Maple Ridge I was more than eager to try my luck at this one. 
This was put on not only by The Act Theater but also The Ridge Studios and The City of Maple Ridge.
The night opened with a welcoming song from the local Katzie Nation. 

A speech from the Executive & Artistic Director of The Act Lindy Sisson(below left), also from Maple Ridge Mayor Nicole Read.(below right)

John Wittmayer CEO of The Ridge Film Studios also had some words to say about the film community in Maple Ridge and the history of film here. Joining him is Nikki Brando Assistant General Manager of the studio.

The evening started out with a mix and mingle , tables of appetizer's were set up for the guests of the evening and the bar was open for many different beverages. There also was a red carpet for the guests to get their pictures taken if they liked , pictures can be seen on the Act Theater's website.

Red Carpet Pictures(click here)

For the record the films presented here were all films that were shot on location somewhere in the beautiful Province of British Columbia.
Then the night started off and we had our first films of the Festival:

Friday March 17, 2017
Anxious Oswald Green  would be the first short of the Festival , one of six short films to each be grouped with a Feature Film. 
Poor anxious Oswald seems to be in a dream state and we are right there beside him. However this is not a dream but a different reality. An amazing trip and also in a Q&A after the showing it was learned that they had to shoot at three different locations over the course of filming as some of the locations just did not work out.

This would be the opening feature film of the weekend. What we have here is a story of a young couple heading back to Vancouver, along their way they pick up another couple who's vehicle has broken down. Along the way they find out the other couple is up in the area to find some long lost gold and invite our couple to join them on their  quest.

This would of course not work out as planned the group gets lost agitated and fearful of each other, freezing in the cold. The pure survival mode comes into full effect for the lead in the film and decides to head back when all hope seems lost.
The amount of scenes with the actors out in the snow and cold was great--found out later from the Director of the film some of the tricks that were used. However I am not going to spoil that for those of you that may want to see the film.

                                 Trailer for Numb:

Saturday March 18, 2017

The Timekeeper
This wonderful short would go onto win the Audience Award for Short film of the weekend.
This tells the story of a timekeeper that has watches, etc set for certain people throughout the short and what they decide to do with that time is up to them.
Another Q&A followed this film and the writer of the short explained he had passed one of those money loans places and thought what if there was a place you could get a loan on time, to have more time to do what you wanted? In short make the most of your time with what you have.
Black Fly
What can be said about this little gem of a film? This had the reaction from a good majority of the audience that I think the filmmakers were hoping to get. I thoroughly enjoyed this film very much. I am going to get a copy of it as the writing and the acting were top notch. A young man is having difficulties living at home we find early on in the film. He goes to stay with his over abusive older brother and his girlfriend, where he is brought into a much darker and violent world. His morals as a human being and his loyalty to his brother is often questioned.
The tension that builds slowly over the time of the film is that very much like waiting for  a volcano to erupt, you know it's coming but sometimes happens slightly faster than you expected. It does not give you time enough to react as you may have liked , but it is a force to be reckoned with.

The entire film is so tightly played and not much is left to the imagination for some in the audience that seemed to be too much from the people I spoke to after the showing. Oddly it was my favorite film of the festival that I had the pleasure of viewing.
This has a raw emotional edge to it, has some great scenes and is a great little gem of a thriller in my opinion.

                                            Black Fly Trailer:

Thank you to Teresa Travoto PR for the festival and Karen Pighin for both allowing me to attend this great festival.
Thank you to The Ridge Film Studios , The Act Theater & The City of Maple Ridge for putting this event on.

Also the main sponsor of the Event.

Thank you for reading 
Anthony Nadeau

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