Friday, 24 April 2015

National Canadian Film Day

 April 29th is National Canadian Film Day. A day to stand together with your fellow Canadians from coast to coast to celebrate homegrown films! The Fort McMurray Filmmakers Association, the Keyano Theatre and Arts Centre, and REEL Canada have partnered to present this exciting event.

“In the words of an old friend, ‘Hollywood is not a real place’. It's a common misconception that great cinema only comes from "Hollywood". The more we get involved in National Canadian Film Day, the more I realize that you can make a great film anywhere in the world. Even though I think Wood Buffalo filmmakers have proven this on many occasions with the national and international awards that we've won, it's really cool to see a film and then realize its Canadian made. It's a real sense of pride,” says Toddske Hillier, founding member of YMMFMA.

This year YMMFMA have given the people of Fort McMurray a voice allowing local film lovers to vote for their favorite film.

“During the month of March, we had an elimination-style tournament on our social media pages that pitted Canadian-Made films against one another. Due to screening rights issues, we only had a select number of films we are able to screen through our National Film Day Sponsor, REEL CANADA. We had to pick a list of 16 films, but it was clear from the beginning that Gingersnaps was the crowd favorite. It's a horror film! A Canadian horror film at that! It's a fun watch,” says Toddske.

Ginger Snaps written by Karen Walton and John Fawcett, directed by John Fawcett, features two death-obsessed sisters, outcasts in their suburban neighborhood, who must deal with the tragic consequences when one of them is bitten by a deadly werewolf. 

Rated 18+, Ginger Snaps is a free event to attend. The screening will take place at the Keyano Recital Theatre, Wednesday, April 29, 8pm-10pm.

Formed in 2012 and officially sanctioned under the Alberta Societies Act in April of 2013, the Fort McMurray Filmmakers Association is a Registered Non-Profit Organization dedicated to encouraging film making in the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo and beyond. The group supports local film artists by providing a platform to network, share ideas, resources and most of all make films! The YMMFMA is free to join and they welcome anyone regardless of their skill level. 

“Many films made from Wood Buffalo filmmakers have gone on to achieve great success. Cody Bown, who is from Fort McMurray but currently living in Vancouver, had a couple of his films screened at Cannes. Kelton Stepanowich has won many awards for his films. We've also had community members win craft awards. It's incredible to see many community members enjoy success in their own worlds. One of the major milestones for a filmmaker is to watch their finished project on the big screen with an audience. We like to give a platform for Wood Buffalo filmmakers to achieve this; whether it's through our monthly YMM Shorts Series at Keyano Theatre, where filmmakers screen their projects in front of a film from the Toronto International Film Festival, or whether it's one of several competitions and film festivals we do throughout the year, winterREELS, YMMIFF, and Film Fear. We also try to provide helpful workshops and talks to assist filmmakers on perfecting their craft. Whether it's through member-led workshops or having another filmmaker come to our region. We aim to be able to provide support to filmmakers and film fans in Wood Buffalo” says Toddske.

If you would like to become a member of the Fort McMurray Filmmakers Association please visit their website, For more information on Ginger Snaps please visit

Batman verses Spider Man in a bar fight, who would win?

Toddske: Batman hands down. Batman beats anybody including the shark from Jaws! Spider-Man would be too busy trying to come up with one-liners to even pay attention to the Dark Knight.

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