Gangsters and disco divas are descending on the Harbour City to celebrate and support the talents of local filmmakers.
The Vancouver Island Short Film Festival is hosting its annual fundraising gala tonight (Nov. 19) at the Firehouse Grill, located at 7 Victoria Rd. This year, the gala’s theme is inspired by ’70s iconic films like The Godfather and A Clockwork Orange. People are encouraged to embrace the glamourous ’70s attire and attend.
“We really encourage people to dress up and hang out with the local talent,” said Karla Duarte, festival director.
The night features turntable mixes by DJ Sandeep The Soul Survivor, door prizes and a music trivia challenge.
“DJ Sandeep The Soul Survivor is well versed in the ’70s theme funk genre,” said Duarte.
The money raised during the gala goes to compensate the filmmakers for their work.
“One of the mandates of the film festival is that all filmmakers get paid for their work. We really believe it helps culture and community diversity,” said Duarte. “We want to encourage local filmmakers to use their talents.”
Many local filmmakers have gone on after presenting at the film festival to win awards at other national festivals.
For example, Nanaimo filmmaker Tash Baycroft screened Gone at the 2007 festival and went on to show his film at the New York and Video Festival and Cannes. Parksville’s Paul Whittington screened Android 207 that same year and went on to show his work at the Beloit International Film Festival and the Arizona International Film Festival.
Since it’s inception 11 years ago the film festival it has been open to anyone and films of any genre. While it was created to showcase Vancouver Island talent, it has also garnered interest and submissions from around the world. This year, 57 per cent of the entries were from Vancouver Island, with half of those from Nanaimo. About 27 per cent were from filmmakers from the mainland. There were also entries from a filmmaker from the Czech Republic and Malaysia, as well as other Canadian cities, such as Montreal and Toronto.
The Vancouver Island Short Film Festival is slated for Feb 12-13. The organization is also seeking volunteers to help during the event and people can go to www.visff.com to apply to help.
The gala begins at 7 p.m. Tickets are $20, which includes a drink and appetizers, and are available by calling 250-754-8550 or at the door.