Canadian film festival: the spur

How do you encourage excellence in a very dynamic and complex industry where, with a cheap smartphone, microphones, some nonprofessionals, a good editor and a visual effects maker, a full length, high definition movie can be produced within a few days? How do you regulate an industry armed with nothing but act, scenes, sounds and lights yet has the ability to elicit laughter when it so pleases, induce fear at will, anger without baiting at eyelid; as it toils with our minds and emotions in its rolling blinks? How do you inculcate the drive and passion for quality film and filmmaking in the younger generation and let them tell of their Canadian times through the eyes of the big screens? You organize a film fun fiesta. Yes. An avenue to acknowledge men who have made their mark in the movie industry for the year under review. Pat them a little on their backs, with some plague, for a job well done and spur them on to even greater theater pedestal.

Spoilt for varieties

From the Canadian Film Fest (March 20-24) whose sole aim is to support independent Canadian films, emerging film-makers and established ones, to Hot Docs Toronto (April 26 – May 6) saddled with mind-melting documentaries. From Fantasia Montreal (July 12 – August 1) which is almost strictly genre festival to Ottawa International Animation Fiesta (September 26-30), the very first port of call to folks who prefer the magic world of computer animations. Then there comes the mother of them all; the Toronto Film Festival which takes place September 7-17 yearly. Five days of fun-filled film frills and thrills, glitz and glamour!

On the surface, the festivals seek to reward excellence and provide opportunities for networking within the industry but a deeper dive into its true fine form reveals the following:

  • They seek to set an unwritten standard upon which both old and new movie acts/makers must yearn to outperform. This ensures that the movie titans are constantly on their toes trying to improve and outdo each other. Hence, these festivals, auto-regulate the industry for excellence.
  • Silently tells mediocre minds to find other survival means.
  • Show case the Canadian story to the world

Finally, to the Drummer, no, Drawer Boy (dirs. Arturo Perez Torres and Aviva Armour-Ostroff), a glass, did Canada raise this year for the best feature award. As the 2019 edition gains momentum, I beg to take a royal bow here. Long may the Canadian festival live and may the stories of the travails and triumphs of the Canadian spirit continue to romance the big screens excellently.