Originally Published December 2022
On Nov. 4th folks from across the city and beyond came together, in person, to launch the 2022 Guelph Film Festival. After two years of online programming, the community was finally all together to celebrate a crafted selection of documentary films that simultaneously challenged the audience and invited us to glean the real spirit of Guelph.
Since 1984, and through several different iterations, the Guelph Film Festival has brought in new works from near and far. Talking with Artistic Director Kimber Sider, and Operations Director Steve D’Alimonte, it’s clear that this festival, while all are invited, is for the Guelph community first and foremost. Any glamour that may have arisen from this is secondary to Sider and the board of directors who oversee festival programming. Education and investigation into important and compelling issues through the medium of film is paramount.
“Our focus really is Guelph and we don’t try to really compete with other markets,” said Sider. “...educating the Guelph public on what we do so that more people [...] can come out and [know] that this is a welcome space for them to learn more about our world and community while engaging in conversations that they would not have otherwise.”
One new way to make the festival this year more accessible was the free under 30 initiative. If you were under 30 years-old you could see a festival film in person for free. This is part of on-going efforts to make films more financially accessible.
This festival is invested in elevating the mind and soul of the community, not the ego, and it deserves credit for the wonderful excitement and post-pandemic glow that radiated throughout our city this November. Instead of casting a wide, sparkly marketing net to the GTA and beyond, the Guelph Film Festival is more of a beacon that draws people in and lets visitors see what is at the heart of our community; a unique and ever-growing focus on care for others, the environment, and the arts.
In the spirit of community, the Guelph Film Festival offers folks the option to join as a member.
“The films we present explore themes of social justice, the environment, and community building. These stories are more vital than ever. With your help, we can expand their reach.”
Membership provides early access to ticket sales, merch, other perks, and makes you a designated member of the not-for-profit organisation that runs the festival.
On January 28th, the Guelph Film Festival and the Arts Everywhere Festival will co-present Ever Deadly co-directed by Tanya Tagaq and Chelsea McMullan. It will be screened, accompanied with Inuk performances, at the River Run Centre in Guelph.
For more information about events and membership please visit guelphfilmfestival.ca.