The sixth-annual Central Alberta Film Festival is set to screen 31 feature films, documentaries and shorts from around the world in Red Deer this month.
“I am absolutely pleased. We have some beautifully made films….better quality films than in past years and higher submissions,” said festival co-founder Ranjit Mullakady on Wednesday.
In total, 84 submissions were received this year from across Canada and the U.S., as well as the United Kingdom and Austria. Mullakady said a jury pared down this wide variety to screen 31 flicks to central Albertans during the Oct. 19-22 festival at Carnival Cinemas.
Some of the films were made close to home, including Red Deer filmmaker Niek Theelen’s award-nominated 75-minute documentary about inclusive sports, For Love of the Game, and Linda Pidhirney’s Anonymous Hero, a short film about everyday kindness.
Mullakady said there are six feature films and many other shorts in the festival. Among the selections are The Ferryman, a film about loss from the U.K., April Skies, an intertwining tragedy with three storylines from Quebec, and A Bird Flew In, a British ensemble study of film professionals struggling in enforced isolation during pandemic lockdowns.
One of the short documentary films is Toxic Neighbour, from Ontario, in which a sheep farmer recounts his troubles with his next-door neighbour, the world’s largest nuclear complex.
CAFF encourages and supports local, national and global film production and aims to provide a platform for “fun and meaningful experiences for amateur and professional filmmakers.”
Mullakady said the festival was started to enrich the cinematic experience for both the Central Alberta audience and the filmmakers. “CAFF believes that Canadian films and filmmakers are unique and imperative to our culture.”
A new feature of this year’s festival will be a fundraising dinner and concert by musician Dean Ray’s band on the closing awards night of the festival, Oct. 22, at the Westerner Park Harvest Centre.
Proceeds from the $100-a plate benefit (a table of six costs $540) will go towards starting an endowment fund that will allow local filmmakers with disabilities to explore making film through workshops, speaker events, and financing opportunities.
“We want to inspire,” added Mullakady.
For more information about the benefit, please visit cafilmfestival.ca.
Tickets for the Central Alberta Film Festival will be sold at Carnival Cinemas. Viewing a block of up to four films will cost $15.