For the cheap fare of a LRT ride, you can catch up to 54 short films playing throughout Edmonton Transit’s LRT system for one week. Gotta Minute Film Festival features one-minute silent short films that play every five minutes on the platform screens at Edmonton’s LRT stations.
“What we have here is the merging of public art with public transit in public space,” says Beth Wishart MacKenzie, the festival’s coordinator. “We’re not just showing popular cinema, we’re showing media art. Some of [these] films would only be seen in repertory theatres … so this is a way for us to give exposure to our media artists here in an unconventional setting but also a broad, general setting, [reaching] a wider public and helping develop an appreciation for media art in our community.”
You don’t have to be a public transit user to see the films, though. Gotta Minute is offering audiences four alternate viewing venues, including a full-reel screening at six Edmonton Public Library locations (the Makerspace at Stanley Milner Library, Whitemud Crossing, Riverbend, Lois Hole, Capilano and Clairview); online (with an accompanying mobile-friendly website), which MacKenzie calls “a festival in your pocket” that allows audiences to pick up the show whenever they please; the Pattison screens at Calgary’s international airport (though only 10 shorts will be screened there) and during Nuit Blanche, a free late-night contemporary art event held downtown on September 26 .
The festival, modeled after Toronto’s Urban Film Festival (TUFF), dedicates at least 50 percent of the program to local films in an effort to promote the development of filmmaking locally. The remainder of the program is made up of national and international submissions, Wishart MacKenzie says. Seventy-percent of this year’s films, which are chosen by a blind jury, are locally made. The other 30 percent are national and international films from Spain, Argentina, Australia, Germany, France, Portugal and Iran.
How do you differentiate an advertisement from a Gotta Minute film? Listen for the jingle. Each silent film will be introduced with a jingle— courtesy of MacKenzie’s son Aaron MacKenzie—that will que audience members of the film.
Sun, Sep 13 – Sat, Sep 19