SASKATOON — There will only be two in-person events for the Saskatchewan International Film Festival with movie fans getting the chance to watch all 21 films entered in the inaugural event at the comfort of their homes, as organizers opted to do follow this format due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The film festival is set from Dec. 4 to 11 but all movies will be available for screening for one more week.
The film festival was supposed to be held last year but organizers cancelled the event because of the pandemic. SIFF president Joyce Malayba added that they were still uncertain for this year and they only pushed through after the provincial government eased some health restrictions.
She said the two in-person events are the opening gala on Dec. 4 at 4 p.m. at the Broadway Theater where Tourism Saskatchewan chief executive officer Stephanie Clovechok will be the guest speaker. The multi-awarded documentary ‘A Will to Dream’ by Toronto-based filmmaker Patrick Alcedo will also be shown.
The awards night, a red-carpet event, will be on Dec. 11 at 5 p.m. at the TCU Place where the winners for the special awards — Best Picture, Best Actors (male and female), Best Supporting Actors (male and female), Best Director, Best Screenplay, Best Cinematography, Best Musical Score, and Audience Choice — will be made known.
Saskatoon Mayor Charlie Clark, Regina Mayor Sandra Masters, Humboldt Mayor Michael Behiel also confirmed to attend the said events with Philippine Consul General for Alberta and Saskatchewan Zaldy Patron as the guest speaker at the awards night since the organizing committee is composed of Filipino-Canadians.
The emcees for the awards night are Filipino entrepreneur of the year awarded Jeanny Buan, 2017 Miss Earth Canada Jacqueline Marsh, and Indian actor-model Ansh Chawla.
Malayba said that screening of the films is all going to be online for $20 for all the 21 movies entered in the film fest but they are hoping that movie fans can enjoy watching films again on the big screen. Tickets can be bought on filmfreeway.com and the movies can be screened at filmocracy.com.
“So, people can buy their tickets from [filmfreeway] and then they will receive an email of the link on how to watch the movie [on filmocracy],” said Malayba.
The 21 films selected as official entries are from Canada (three made by filmmakers in the province), Greenland, India, Iran, Nigeria, the Philippines, Turkey and the United States.
Alcedo will also be part of the panel of judges chaired by Recording Arts Institute Saskatoon head instructor Shayne Metcalfe. Mukesh Gnanesh and Arnolfo Enriquez were the other jurors.