by Peggy Miles
Independent cinema is coming to Summerside. A group of local film enthusiasts have formed a collective that will bring Canadian and international films to Summerside’s big screen. The volunteers are liaising with Film Circuit, an outreach division of TIFF (the Toronto International Film Festival). The division interacts with community groups, assisting them in showcasing flicks that wouldn’t normally be available in smaller markets. Film Circuit works with 160 Canadian communities, helping to build audiences for independent cinema across the country.
The concept for the Summerside film series quickly came together, beginning as a conversation between retired teacher-librarian Charmaine Comeau and local entrepreneur Greg Weeks. The pair articulated their desire to bring new opportunities to film fans in the area and they swiftly formed a committee of individuals with the skills and passion to contribute to the idea. The group is also supported by Culture Summerside.
“We want to connect people through film, creating a cultural and social experience,” says Comeau. She expresses that similar to a book club, a film can be used to spark discussion. Comeau hopes that people will gather for informal dialogue over coffee after each motion picture.
Filmworks Summerside credits the TIFF Film Circuit with bestowing the resources that have enabled the local group to get the project off the ground. With this national leverage Filmworks Summerside has access to a variety of limited-release movies, films that have recently debuted at the Toronto International Film Festival.
The local organization has partnered with Empire Theatres in Summerside and that’s where their first film will be hosted on November 14 at 6:30 pm. Appearing on screen: The Intouchables, winner of seven international awards. A French film with English subtitles, it is based on a true story of an unlikely friendship between a wealthy Parisian man who has become a quadriplegic, and an unrefined young offender who becomes his live-in caregiver.
The series will continue with screenings on the second Wednesday of each month from January through May.
Tickets are available at a number of community outlets including the College of Piping, Eptek Art & Culture Centre, Lefurgey Cultural Centre/MacNaught History Centre or Samuel’s Coffee House. Sales are cash only and it is recommended that patrons buy tickets in advance, as large audiences are anticipated. Tickets are $8 per person in advance or $10 at the door. The group is also selling season Visit their Facebook page at Filmworks Summerside or at www.filmworkssummerside.ca.