Reeling in the unusual

Reel Movie Mondays has a variety of independent films up its sleeve for its winter series that runs from Jan. 13 to March 10.

Reel Movie Mondays has a variety of independent films up its sleeve for its winter series that runs from Jan. 13 to March 10.

The films range from a documentary detailing Earth’s most precious resource — water — to one of the first feature films ever shot in Saudi Arabia by a female director.

That being said, the film the group says is sure to garner a full theatre is Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, airing on Feb. 24 at 7 p.m. at Carnival Cinemas in Red Deer.

“We think Mandela will be very popular, just because of the time and his recent passing. It’s at the forefront of everyone’s mind,” said Karli Kendall, programming assistant with Reel Movie Mondays. “We’ve already had a few people coming in just to get that ticket.”

Other motion pictures in the lineup include Watermark on Jan. 13, Wadjda on Jan. 27, The Crash Reel on Feb. 10 and Philomena on March 10. They all show at 7 p.m. at Carnival Cinemas.

Watermark follows acclaimed environmental photographer Edward Burtynsky explore the human impact on H2O around the globe from canals to sacred bathing in the Allahabad.

Wadjda, directed by Saudi Arabia’s first female director Haifaa Al-Mansour, takes a deeper look into the story of a 10-year-old girl who desperately wants a bicycle in a suburb of the Saudi capital of Riyadh.

Extreme sports are put under a lens for The Crash Reel, trailing the ups and downs of snowboarder Kevin Pearce after a near-fatal accident.

Nelson Mandela’s epic and difficult climb to become South Africa’s first democratically elected leader takes the big screen in Long Walk to Freedom and is based on of his autobiography of the same name.

Lastly, Philomena, starring Judi Dench, weaves together the tale of an Irish woman looking for the child she was shamed into giving up by the church because she was an unwed mother in the 1950s.

About 195 tickets are available for each film.

“We always try to have a mix: a documentary, a foreign language film, a Canadian film,” Kendall said.

Reel Movie Mondays, a cultural and educational organization run by the Red Deer Museum and Art Gallery, is celebrating its 12th season. It is also operated in partnership with Film Circuit, presented by the Toronto International Film Festival and its sponsors and supporters.

Selections for the spring season have also been lined up and will feature a First Nations movie, a Japanese film and one from India.

“Personally I just hope people take away that this is a unique opportunity to see independent films that aren’t always necessarily shown in centres of our size,” Kendall said.

Movies for the special Monday programming are chosen by a group of about nine members who go through a film package circulated by Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) that outlines the upcoming films available for distribution.

All new members also have the option of choosing to sign up for the selecting committee.

“We have a meeting, look at trailers and discuss what we’d like to bring in,” Kendall said. “When we can’t all get together, we have the selecting members email us their top 10 choices and we go from there with a ranking of the most popular.”

The choices are then submitted back to TIFF and the titles are sent out depending on availability.

Packages of five tickets are $35 for members and $45 for non-members. Single tickets are $8 for members and $10 for non-members. Memberships and tickets can be purchased in advance at Red Deer Museum and Gallery.

For more information, visit www.reelmoviemondays.ca.

rfrancoeur@bprda.wpengine.com

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