Kamloops Film Festival returns for 17th engagement

Jessica Duncan, Contributor Ω

KFFFilmposterThe 17th annual Kamloops Film Festival kicks off this upcoming Thursday, March 7 at the Paramount Theatre (503 Victoria St.).

This year’s festival features 14 promising films. Among the well-known titles, like The Perks of Being a Wallflower and Amour, lay some productions from closer to home, like Camera Shy, which is based in Vancouver.

TRU professor and Kamloops Film Society board member Mark Wallin stressed the importance of local events bringing the community closer together.

“The film festival tends to focus on the downtown core and downtown businesses,” Wallin said. “There has been a lot of academic research in the role events play in the life of a community, the more external recognition an event has the more house proud the community becomes.”

When asked what films he is anticipating he said size matters.

“The smaller production films I’m very excited about; Blood Pressure, a small scale Toronto thriller, I’m also excited about Camera Shy which is a Vancouver-based film. We’ve had very good success with provinciallymade films in the past; smaller production films mark us as unique,” he said.

The festival starts off strong with the Best Canadian Feature from the 2012 Hot Docs festival, The World Before Her. Director Nisha Pahuja will be introducing her film and attending the filmmakers’ roundtable during the opening party at Hotel 540 (540 Victoria St.) afterwards. The World Before Her explores two utterly divergent paths chosen by young Indian girls. The film shows a group of girls striving to become Miss India while another group are trained as Hindu Nationalists.

On Saturday, March 9 at 3 p.m., Camera Shy, directed by Vancouver’s very own Mark Sawers, will be shown. This dark comedy depicts the life of a Vancouver city councilman who begins to be terrorized by an unidentified cameraman. Sawers and his movie crew will be attending the screening.

Blood Pressure, directed by Winnipeg’s Sean Garrity, will be shown on Saturday, March 16 at 3 p.m. A woman in her early 40s receives an anonymous letter and decides to pursue a relationship with the author.

A couple films showing at this year’s fest have gained recognition worldwide. Amour, directed by Michael Haneke, is a French drama-romance and will be shown on Monday, March 11 at 7 p.m. It tells the story of retired Parisian music teachers Georges (Jean-Lous Trintignant) and Anne (Emmanuelle Riva). After Anne has a stroke their marriage changes significantly. Amour received the Palme d’Or (for best film) at the 65th Cannes Film Festival. The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a coming-of-age film starring Harry Potter’s Emma Watson. This film is an adaptation of the 1999 novel of the same name.  Stephen Chbosky wrote and directed Perks, which won Favorite Drama Movie at the 2013 Peoples Choice Awards.

On Saturday, March 16 at 7 p.m., the festival will be closing with Boy, a 2010 comedy-drama based in 1984 New Zealand. Boy, the highest-grossing New Zealand film of all time tells the story of 11-year-old Alamein or “Boy.” Boy is fascinated with Michael Jackson and dreams about his jail-ridden father breaking out and taking him to see Jackson live.

The closing party for the Kamloops Film Festival will be taking place at the Noble Pig Brewhouse (640 Victoria St.) following the last showing of Boy. Kelowna musician Devon Coyote will be performing.

This year’s festival features a wide variety of film, assuring there will be something for everyone. Tickets for this year’s festival are $5 for TRU students and are available at the TRUSU desk.