Ottawa winters are cold and many people in our city go without adequate accommodation and protection from the elements. In his first feature length documentary Project Cold Days, filmmaker Stephen Coleman helps us meet these often invisible and voiceless people and allows them to tell their stories. He dropped by CKCU for an interview with Monique Fuller (host of A Luta Continua) and I tagged along to take some behind the scenes video. Here are a few excerpts from the interview.
For years independently owned and operated theaters have become a rare thing. Growing up there were plenty of neighborhood-based theaters that ran a variety of Hollywood, independent or really any films that would fill the seats. I have happy memories of Sergio Leone shoot-fests, foreign films etc. at the Capital on Rideau, the original Bytowne, the Mayfair etc. So most of those theaters are still here and doing a great job in delivering films where spandex is not the prevailing fashion sense.
What’s changed is just how important this role has become in our current situation where while. We have plenty ways to deliver content across a variety of platforms and modalities, the actual ‘movie going’ experience has become less available as major chains focus on algorithm-based content that reduce choice and availability. To which I don’t fault them for doing so, its a business after all and the fact that any chains thrive at all in the Netflix universe is magic to me anyways.
Independents give you the choices you wont find in chains but also give you the experience of a theater which, for me, is a big part of the deal. Independents provide the opportunity for a new artist to see their work on the big screen, for festivals to reach out to their audiences as well as specialized programming to meet other needs. By extending choice independently owned theaters extend the experience of movie goers and for that they should be treasured.
Bonnie Robinson is the founder of YOW Productions. A professional writer, producer and director, on this episode she talks about her favourite types of films to make and where she likes to go to see movies in Ottawa. She also reminds us that making films is most often a collaborative endeavour and has some great tips for aspiring filmmakers looking to plug into the local filmmaker community.
Howard Adler is a filmmaker and curator and founder of Ottawa’s Asinabka Film Festival. Howard tells us about his first experience with video editing in high school, how he worked with a group of friends to start a new film festival and what makes Ottawa an amazing place for a media artist.
Filmmaker Rhiana Chinapen’s interest in social justice issues drew her to documentaries and her work planning Ottawa’s One World Film Festival which celebrated its 28th anniversary in 2017. She recently completed her first film, an exploration of Capoeira (an Afro-Brazilian martial art which she practices) with the assistance of SAW Video Media Arts Centre’s Jumpstart Program.