The Haida Gwaii Film Festival has brought diverse and unorthodox motion pictures to the islands since 2009, aiming to build bridges between communities in Haida Gwaii and the world of independent filmmaking.
The 2014 Haida Gwaii Film Festival will take place from March 7-9 in Queen Charlotte, Tlell and Skidegate and will include short, medium and feature length films.
“We bring avant-garde films from various countries. This year there are films from about 16 different countries, with almost 60 films to show,” said Haida Gwaii Film Festival founder and artistic director Dafne Romero, noting animation, thriller, comedy and documentary films are included.
Films were selected based on the festival’s 2014 theme, the concept of colour and symbolism relating to cinema.
“The meaning of colour can vary depending on culture and circumstances and each colour has many dimensions to it. Colour is a form of non-verbal communication,” Romero said.
“I chose four different colours [for the selection process] which are black for film noir or terror, red for controversy, activism or passion, white for comedy or peaceful movies [or animation] and green for environmental movies.”
Romero said attending the festival will broaden people’s visions of diversity, culture and language and will provoke audiences to see films in a different way. Additionally, Romero said people will be able to share the experience with some of the filmmakers, with four or five off-island producers expected to be in attendance at their film’s showing.
“People will be able to concretely talk to the producer or filmmaker and see how it’s being done, what were the struggles were or whatever the curiosity is,” she said.
Since the festival’s inception, Romero said she’s witnessed more Haida Gwaii filmmakers submitting their motion pictures each year, many of whom were inspired after attending the festival or the workshops it includes.
This year, two producers are from Haida Gwaii: Dominic Legualt from North Beach and Alexander McDonald from the Village of Queen Charlotte.
Each year a workshop is included in the festival, with graphic fiction and non-fiction artist Kara Slevewright facilitating “Introduction to Comics and Graphic Storytelling”. The workshop will run over two-days following the conclusion of film showings, and is open to everyone.
Students from Queen Charlotte Secondary School will also be doing the workshop for mandatory school credit.
Films will be shown at the Community Hall in Queen Charlotte on March 7 and 9, and at the Haida House in Tlell and the Performance House at the Kaay Centre in Skidegate on March 8.
People wanting to register for the workshop can do so by calling (250) 559-8270.