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OFFA Online Film Festival previews upcoming events

Photo: OFFA
OFFA Online Film Festival previews upcoming events
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Tyler Collins

Tyler Collins

Tyler Collins has been a reporter with Oakville News since 2016. Covering local news and live events, he specializes in film, theatre, and entertainment. He comes from Campbellton, NB, and has lived in North Oakville over 20 years. Tyler is a proud graduate of Journalism and Performing Arts from Sheridan College. Twitter: @MrTyCollins

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Yesterday marked the OFFA preview for the upcoming OFFA Online Film Festival. In light of the current Covid-19 pandemic, the 7th annual Oakville Film Festival has moved online. To get things going, OFFA previewed some of the films coming to the online festival June 17th to 22nd 2020.

Executive director and festival co-chair Wendy Donnan acknowledges moving this year’s festival online is a challenge. “We couldn’t have done this without a very dedicated board of directors who made this happen,” says Donnan.

But among the challenge of gathering audiences online also come opportunities. Those include more Q&As with filmmakers and, in addition to local talent, more films to show from around the globe.

A record-setting 68 films will be shown

“We have an incredible 68 films in the festival this year,” says Donnan. “That’s actually more than we’ve ever had.”

Monday’s OFFA preview featured some of the features and collections that will be screened online during the festival. After purchasing a ticket for events, the films will be available for audiences to watch at home for 24 hours after the scheduled start time.

Single tickets for either a feature film or series of short films are on sale for $7.99 each. All-access passes to all screenings at OFFA  are $49.99. Tickets are available online with their screening platform Eventive.Org here.

At the preview several directors spoke about their films. Here are the features from the OFFA preview being shown at this year’s festival.

Queen of the Morning Calm
Thursday June 18th at 7:00pm

Writer/Director Gloria Kim has spent 11 years making this film based on her own life events. It’s about a young woman’s resolve to escape a seemingly interminable cycle of poverty and abuse while caring for her daughter.

“It started as a short at the Canadian Directors Lab,” says Kim. “My mentor there told me a short I’d made was really a feature. I spent years building the world asking: What do I want to see? What is the story about?”

Tickets to this Thursday night show also include three shorts with the ticket price. This screening features a Q&A with Kim after the film.

Military Wives
Friday June 19th at 7:00pm

An import from Britian, the musical comedy tells the true story of a group of English military wives who start a choir. The Bleecker Street comedy comes from the filmmakers of The Full Monty.

Caring for Our Climate DOUBLE FEATURE
Saturday June 20th at 10:00am

This ticket includes two environmental documentaries. The first is the world premiere of Vanita Khanna’s Water Be Dammed. The second is the Canadian premiere of Sockeye Salmon, Red Fish. This tickets also includes five environmental shorts. The run time for both features and the shorts is just over two hours.

The Great Disconnect
Saturday June 20th at 2:00pm

Photo: OFFA

Photo: OFFA

This Canadian premiere is a documentary about how human life is changing with people spending more time alone and doing things individually. Director and co-writer Tamer Soliman says the film is especially fitting for a festival screening in social isolation.

“The concept came from visiting a community in Jamaica while living in the Caribbean,” says Soliman. “What captivated me was how community oriented it was. In any book about longevity, it talks about the importance of social connections in your life.” This screening features a Q&A with Soliman after the film.

The Rest of Us
Saturday June 21st at 7:00pm

Saturday night’s show is a Canadian drama starring Heather Graham, coming to Oakville after premiering at TIFF 2019. This screening features a Q&A with the producers and director Aisling Chin-Yee after the film.

From the Vine
Sunday June 22nd at 2:00pm

The father’s day feature is Sean Cisterna’s comedy drama filmed in Italy. Joe Pantoliano (The Sopranos, Bad Boys) stars as a downtrodden CEO who revives his Nonna’s Italian winery. Director Cisterna has a recommended wine for drinking while watching – “Aglianico del Vulture.”

This film is being made free for select nursing and long-term care homes. Cisterna and star Pantoliano will hold an online Q&A after the screening.

The Body Remembers the World When it Broke Open
Sunday June 22nd at 7:00pm

Festival Sunday is also National Indigenous Day, and Body Remembers has been programmed to commemorate it. The film was nominated for six Canadian Screen Awards, including Best Motion Picture. It won three awards last month.

In addition to the feature films, there are three short film screenings to be shown in curated collections. Buying a ticket to the paid collections are good for all films in that group for the following 24 hours. More than half of the local short film collection are films from Sheridan College alumni and students.

  • LOCAL SHORT FILM COLLECTION on Wednesday June 17th at 7:00pm (12 shorts)
  • FAMILY SHORTS FUN FEST on Sunday June 21st from 10:00am to 1:00pm – available for free! (19 shorts)
  • SHORTS FOR ALL SORTS COMPILATION on Monday June 22nd at 7:00pm (13 shorts)

There’s an all-star lineup with the 68 films set for this year’s online festival. While different from past years, festival artistic director Judah Hernandez knows that “challenge is the necessity of invention.”

“We’re grateful we have the tools to do this,” said Hernandez at the OFFA preview on Monday. “I’m sure we would have figured it out, but I’m glad we can hold a digital festival. We’re planning on getting you the best films we could possibly get.”

OFFA Online Film Festival runs June 17th to 22nd 2020. Tickets are available online now.

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