Arts Featured Film Visual Art

Gotta Minute Film Festival offers commuters unannounced cinematic encounters


You’ve heard the benefits of riding public transit—environmental-friendly, cost-efficient, no parking woes, etc—but now there’s another reason to ride public transit: watching the films of local, national and international filmmakers.

For seven days from September 25 to October 2, communters can view 36 one-minute silent short films on the Pattison Onestop platform screens of Edmonton’s Transit’s LRT system through Gotta Minute Film Festival.

It’s an unconventional venue for a film festival, but the setting makes it possible for the festival coordinators to introduce new people to different mediums of art.

It’s a golden opportunity to catch people unexpectedly, says festival coordinator Sylvia Douglas.

“It challenges audiences a bit more, because it’s not a traditional viewing experience,” she says. “When you confront art in a public space, it gives it a different context and gives audiences a different reaction to it, be it a positive one or a challenging one. It gives people the opportunity to experience art in a different context.”

Running on five minute intervals, the program will include drama, documentary, animated, and experimental short films from both emerging and seasoned filmmakers. Audience members will know its a Gotta Minute film by way of little jingle and a title card that will cue viewers that it’s a film and not an advertisement.

But for those transit naysayers, Gotta Minute is offering other screening opportunities. Viewers can pick up the festival anywhere on their mobile devices by visiting the festival’s website (, which will be screening the full program during the festival.

Douglas notes that they’re continuously exploring new ways to expand its audience through additional venue and screening opportunities. For this year, they’re introducing the “Midday Minute” where all films will be looped at Zieglar Hall at the Citadel Theatre.

“It’ll be an opportunity for people to drop in and catch either the full 36 minutes and watch all of the films—it’ll be in a continuous loop from 11:30 to 1 pm—so you can bring your lunch and watch the films,” she says.

In addition, its award celebration will be aligned with Alberta Culture Days, so all the award winners will be screened at Metro Cinema alongside a local sound artist who will add some musical accompaniment to the silent films.

“It’ll add a new [sensory] element to the silent films,” Douglas says. “It’ll enhance the audience’s experience of the films in a larger cinematic space and hopefully add an element of media art and something a little more experimental. Create a new opportunity for audiences to experience the films. … It’s adding some vibrancy to Edmontonion’s everyday lives.”

Sun, Sep 25 – Sun, Oct 2
Gotta Minute Film Festival
LRT stations, free


Leave a Comment