Edmonton is known to host numerous events and festivals that feature local content as well as art from all over the world, demonstrating that our city is one of the great creative incubators of Canada.
FAVA, the Film and Video Arts Society of Alberta, is celebrating its 35th anniversary this year and hosting its sixth annual film festival at Metro Cinema at Garneau.
The independent artist run co-op is famous for creating art that utilizes film, video and new media. The festival will feature material using all these mediums and supply the city with a brilliant showcase that celebrates the content that FAVA’s members have created during the last year.
Trevor Anderson, the director of programming at FAVA, has worked towards this year’s festival being one of the organization’s most diverse yet.
Each of the four days will feature numerous short and long-form films created by FAVA members that spans the genres of documentary, animation, narrative storytelling and music videos. This provides the audience with a “rapid fire consumption of content,” Anderson says.
FAVA is well known for supporting local video artists with the intent of giving them tools to succeed in their craft.
“We don’t produce any of the work, we enable the people to find their own voices,” says Anderson.
The festival also doubles as an open awards ceremony, including screenings of the “Best of the Fest.” FAVA’s jury will distribute awards of excellence at the beginning of the festival and the audience can mingle with contributors as well as the winners.
The decision for this layout was implemented with the focus being on a creator-driven event.
“We not only save time but also allow others to enjoy a much larger supply of artists work,” Anderson says.
New features include a piece created by filmmaker Kyle Armstrong and musician Bradley J. Sime, and a new media art installation designed by FAVA member and artist Parker Thiessen.
Also featured are Q&A‘s with some of the filmmakers, offering the audience an opportunity to immerse themselves in the process behind creating the content shown.
“We want to make it fun and a little less formal and present it as a meeting of the minds,” says Anderson.
A major event this year is the screening of the feature film Weirdos. Bruce McDonald, best known for his work directing films such as Hard Core Logo and Roadkill, directs the film, and famous playwright Daniel MacIvor pens the screenplay. This uniquely Canadian film follows the story of two teenagers as they hitchhike their way across Nova Scotia in a coming-of-age story. Weridos has already been met with high praise, recently winning the Canadian Screen Award for Best Screenplay.
Both McDonald and McIvor will be at the festival and participate in a moderated conversation with the audience, further adding to FAVA’s emphasis on creator and audience interaction.
The vast majority of Albertan and Canadian content is immense in this year’s festival, but FAVA isn’t stopping there. It will also feature the Sundance Film Festival Short Film Tour. This provides the audience an opportunity to see content that previously premiered at this year’s Sundance Film Festival that they wouldn’t normally see.
“Most of the time people can’t drive all the way down to Park City to go to Sundance, so this will be one of only places in Canada that people will be able to see all of this work in one place,” Anderson says.
He hopes this mix of Canadian and international content will supply the city with a platform to further local interest in the craft of filmmaking.
“We don’t want to be just inward looking, we want to see what other creators have made as well,” he says.
One of FAVA’s key focuses is strengthening and growing the Edmonton film community.
“We’re taking an emphasis off of competition and putting it into community, we want people to come down to the festival and take a risk,” he says.
Tue., Apr. 18 to Sat., Apr. 22
Metro Cinema at the Garneau
$12 for ‘Weirdos,’ cash donation for other showings