The bright lights of the silver screen are coming to Prince Rupert with the city being chosen as one of only six locations across the nation to host a Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) screening for one night only, on Sept. 13.
The coast-to-coast satellite screening of films is supported by the Prince Rupert Community Arts Council and is to help ignite the theatrical exhibition across the country as well to celebrate audiences’ return to cinemas after the global pandemic drew the curtains closed, the movie enterprise stated in an Aug. 13 media release.
Sandra Jones, president of the Prince Rupert Arts Council, said the city has always been supportive of the cinema with the Thursday night at the movies program which sources a lot of art and non-mainstream films through TIFF.
“I think they see us as a community that has really [embraced] the alternative movie watching genre.”
Jones said when the opportunity arose for a TIFF production to be featured in Prince Rupert the council jumped at the chance and submitted an application.
“We were advised of this opportunity to be one of the selected audiences and we said yes,” the Art Council president said. “We said our community would not only like this, they deserve this because they are committed to this kind of work.”
Additionally beneficial was the opportunity for the community to engage in post-pandemic thinking and having activities to look forward to, she said.
“We’ve all been shut down for so long and, trying to do the right thing and make sure we’re keeping our bubbles. It’s been sort of more difficult to imagine what it might look like to come out of the pandemic. So, this was an opportunity in a small way for some post-pandemic normalcy.”
Prince Rupert was the only B.C. location chosen out of the six screenings, Jones said. Five other locations, being Markham and Hamilton, Ont., Moose Jaw, Sask., Summerside, P.E.I., and St. John, N.B., will present different films on the same night, all starting at 7:00 p.m.
The showings have been organized by Film Circuit, TIFF’s film outreach organization which has been programming the “Coast-to-Coast Screenings”, since 1995, and this year will be partnering with the venue host Cineplex.
Prince Rupert’s TIFF premiere movie will be ‘Official Competition’ a Spanish language film starring Antonio Banderas, Penélope Cruz, Oscar Martínez, and directed by Mariano Cohn and Gastón Duprat.
Tickets can be purchased online through the Prince Rupert Community Arts Council webpage.
K-J Millar | Journalist
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