The Riding Mountain National Park Film Festival combines an appreciation of the outdoors with great film experiences through movie screenings and digital media camps for students who want to expand their filmmaking skills.
When organizer Steve Langston founded the film festival five years ago, he says his goals were twofold: increase tourism to the area and change public perception on environmentalism through film.
With heritage log cabin theatre facilities and space for outdoor film screenings, Langston says the park was a natural fit for a film festival.
Langston, himself a filmmaker, notes the selection process is slightly different from other film festivals. The selection committee does their research beforehand, identifies the films they want to show and contacts the filmmakers directly.
“We find the films that we really like,” Langston says. “It allows us to pick the best films in the world.”
Filmmakers still have the opportunity to submit their films for consideration through the festival’s website, which helps local films make it into the program.
“This year, we are going to play some dramatic short films, because people from the area have created them,” Langston says. “I think it is important to give emerging filmmakers the opportunity to have their films displayed.”
Langston estimates that out of the 25 to 30 films to be shown throughout the film festival, eight are by local filmmakers.
The festival programming will include a mix of genres, all loosely tied together by the themes of adventure, environmental concerns and local interest.
There will also be two streams of digital media courses for youth: a two-day camp in which kids shoot a short film and a five-day doc experience course in which students learn the basics of film and shoot a short documentary.
The film festival’s lineup will be ann-ounced on its website on June 1.
WHEN July 11 to 16
WHERE Wasagaming, Riding Mountain National Park
$$$ $10 for a single ticket, $100 for digital media camp registration
DON'T MISS Short films from those living in the area
Published in Volume 71, Number 27 of The Uniter (June 1, 2017)