Reel Rave Film Festival returns early next month

Matt Gardner
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A seasonal highlight for area film fans, the Reel Rave International Film Festival returns to Waskesiu in September.

Left to right: Brendan Gleeson, Taylor Kitsch and Gordon Pinsent star in 'The Grand Seduction,' one of the films that will be shown at the 11th annual Reel Rave International Film Festival. This year’s festival will take place over the Sept. 5-7 weekend at the Twin Pines Cinema in Wakesiu.

Now in its 11th year, the annual festival serves as one of the Mann Art Gallery’s biggest fundraisers while offering a change of pace from the blockbuster fare on display at the local multiplex.

“The atmosphere at Waskesiu is so nice and it’s an opportunity for people to see films that they wouldn’t otherwise … be able to see,” Mann Art Gallery board fundraising committee chair Donna McKeand Smith said.

This year’s Reel Rave festival will take place over the Sept. 5-7 weekend, with the majority of activities taking place at the Twin Pines Cinema. Tickets are available at the Mann Art Gallery, Amy’s on Second Restaurant or at the door for $12 per film or $30 for three films.

Money raised through ticket sales goes towards funding general operations at the gallery as well as a range of education programs.

The 2014 festival kicks off at the Evergreen Café on Friday at 7 p.m. with a free screening of award-winning short films from the Yorkton Film Festival.

At 9 p.m., festival attendees will enjoy a special screening of the Saskatchewan film WolfCop, which details the adventures of a police officer/werewolf. Viewers who show up in costume as law enforcement, werewolves, zombies and vampires will receive a $2 discount off their ticket price.

In keeping with tradition, the volunteer committee that organizes the festival selected films from several different countries, including Canada (The Grand Seduction and Rhymes for Young Ghouls), India (The Lunchbox), Australia (Tracks), Japan (Like Father, Like Son) and the United States (Finding Vivian Maier).

It’s an opportunity for people to see films that they wouldn’t otherwise … be able to see. Donna McKeand Smith

Screenings on Saturday start at 11 a.m., 2:30 p.m. and 7 p.m., while Sunday showtimes are at 10:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m. and 4 p.m.

Following the screening of Newfoundland-set film The Grand Seduction on Saturday evening, attendees will be able to enjoy a Newfoundland social, kitchen party and rum-tasting event at the Hawood Inn.

Besides the feature-length titles, the Reel Raves festival will include a special screening of the short film Midnight Mohawk Runners.

Running adjacent to the main festival is the annual short film festival, which features local, national and international shorts with cash prizes in three categories -- Best Submission, Best Submission (Small Scale Production) and what was formerly known as the People’s Choice.

This year, the latter prize has been renamed the Ed Eaton People’s Choice Award in honour of a late Reel Rave member who died in 2013.

“He was on the Reel Rave committee last year,” McKeand Smith noted of Eaton. “He was really a film expert and he was so enthusiastic, and we really miss him.”

Criteria for short film submissions are available at Entries must have been received by Friday, Aug. 29.

To further honour Eaton, festival organizers will also be holding a muffin munch and film chat on Sunday from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. at the Waskesiu Heritage Museum.

Organizations: Mann Art Gallery board, Twin Pines Cinema, Hawood Inn Ed Eaton People Reel Rave committee Waskesiu Heritage Museum

Geographic location: Newfoundland, Yorkton, Saskatchewan Canada India Australia Japan United States

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