As the end of January approaches, so does the annual ReFrame Film Festival spanning across four different venues in Peterborough’s downtown core.
2017 will mark the 13th anniversary of ReFrame. Over the last 13 years, it has grown in popularity as well as credibility among cinephiles in the community.
The festival will be held January 27th to 29th with films running at Showplace, the Venue, Market Hall, and Galaxy Cinema and boasts 59 “provocative documentaries” with a total of 28 Canadian films, including ten films by local filmmakers. These include Megan Murphy, whose film Towns End is a documentary about the closing of the Douro general store. As well as Amro Khito, a Syrian filmmaker who teamed up with Sarah DeCarlo to bring you River Song, a documentary following the lives of two young women, one Syrian, one Indigenous and the struggles that come with being a minority in our society. The festival is also home to short films, such as the animated short entitled Dreams of Electric City by Daniel Crawford which uses stop frame animation and has been described as a “visual meditation on Peterborough’s people, landscape, and community”.
Last year Arthur reporter Troy Bordun wrote a review following the 2016 ReFrame Festival and stated that despite ReFrame’s overall success in Peterborough, they have yet to take any real creative risks or showcase “cutting-edge”, or controversial films.
Arthur met with ReFrame’s Communications Coordinator, Tessa Nasca, and asked if the public could be expecting any surprises this year in terms of controversial issues or those “cutting-edge” films that may rub people the wrong way,
“It depends on what your definition of that would be I guess, but I would say that people may find one of this year’s films, Angry Inuk, a bit controversial as it tells the story of Inuit people who have been involved in seal hunting and have used commercial seal hunting as a way to participate in the global economy. [It explores] the way that mainstream environmental movements have taken away people’s right and ability to participate in the economy.”
Nasca went on to spotlight the diversity in the films presented this year, and makes special mention of a piece by Canadian filmmaker and author, Ann Marie Fleming:
“If you’re looking for something that is a little bit different than your classical documentary film, look out for the fully animated feature film Window Horses: The Poetic Persian Epiphany of Rosie Ming.”
Before letting Nasca get back the ReFrame staff’s frenzied planning, Arthur asked if she had noticed a major change in the way the festival is presented in Peterborough from year one to 2017. Nasca explained how, although the festival has gained popularity, they have done their best to stick to their roots and make sure that it remains a very community based affair.
“ReFrame has evolved into a multi-day community event; we get hundreds of film submissions a year, and we have a programming committee that spends quite a bit of time and energy into actually selecting the films that will be displayed at the festival.”
This year, ReFrame will be taking steps to bring the festivities outside the theatre, as Nasca also mentions that it is important to remember that the festivities go further than just the films themselves. There will be panel discussions following many of the films, as well as a circus act, a musical benefit to raise funds for Standing Rock, and a few other fun things to occupy yourselves between showings.
If you are interested in checking out a few films later this month, note that for students daytime passes (films before 7:30pm) are $20, and each evening feature film requires an additional $10 ticket. Tickets can be purchased online or in person at the Peterborough Green-up Store or Happenstance Book and Yarn in Lakefield.