Hub City Cinema Society’s Cinefest film festival returns to Avalon Cinema on Sept. 26. (Photo courtesy Dirk Heydemann)

Hub City Cinema Society’s Cinefest film festival returns to Avalon Cinema

More comedies and documentaries among this year’s crop of Island-made films

For the past year Zachary Tannar has been scouting the Island for films that have made an impact locally and around the world to feature at Hub City Cinema Society’s third annual Cinefest film festival.

Tannar, HCCS president, said while most most film festivals have a submission process, Cinefest has a scouting process.

“I’m particularly looking for films that have already gotten themselves out there into other film festivals, that have been accepted into grant programs…” Tannar said. “But then there are also films that a local filmmaker will post online and I’ll see it and I’ll say, ‘OK, you’ve put it out there, people are seeing it and people are enjoying it, so I want more people to see it.’”

Cinefest returns to Avalon Cinema on Sept. 26. The festival includes 11 short films ranging from two to 13 minutes in length, as well as the Top 10 finalist from HCCS’s One Minute Mobile Movie Challenge, in which filmmakers used cell phones and tablets to create 60-second movies. The winner will be presented HCCS’s 2019 Selfie Award.

The festival is also introducing a filmmaker’s panel the following day at the HCCS studio where some featured movie makers will discuss their films and take questions.

This is the second year that Cinefest is taking place at Avalon. Tannar said screening the films in a real movie theatre provides a more authentic feel. He said it was “the best film experience we’ve had.”

“For me, particularly as a filmmaker, that’s always what I’d like to have is the best viewing experience,” Tannar said. “The best part about being at the Avalon is actually the sound. The fact that you have that proper movie sound. You can’t get that anywhere else.”

Some of this year’s films by Nanaimo filmmakers are John Gardiner’s How to Hide a Dead Body, winner of the Vancouver Island Short Film Festival’s People’s Choice Award and a Portland Comedy Film Festival Official Selection; Brian Morelan’s Gamer’s Wife, Official Selection of the Calcutta International Film Festival among others and earning actress Brookelyn Chalmers a Joey Award for Best Across in a Short Film; and Jeremiah Patton’s My Dad’s Dentist Story, showcased at the Cannes Film Festival’s Short Film Corner as part of Telefilm Canada’s Not Short on Talent program.

Tannar said this year’s lineup is unusually heavy on documentaries and comedies. He said it’s a departure from other festivals that tend to have more dramas on offer.

“People are always saying, ‘Wow, this is so dark,’ or, ‘It’s very dramatic’ and for some reason this year it’s pretty bright,” Tannar said.

WHAT’S ON … Cinefest takes place at Avalon Cinema, Woodgrove Centre, on Sept. 26. Box office opens and red carpet at 6 p.m. Screening starts at 7 p.m. $10. Filmmakers Panel takes place Sept. 27 at the HCCS studio, 15 Lois Ln., at 5 p.m. Party to follow. $5, free with Cinefest ticket. Click here for more information, including full festival lineup.

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