Bay Street Film Festival is Sept. 15-18

Kelly Saxberg, centre, of the Bay Street Film Festival, speaks about the content at this year’s festival, after showing a trailer of some of the films to be screened.

It’s important to bring our stories back, says Thunder Bay filmmaker Michelle Desrosier, has two films showing at the Bay Street Film Festival.

This year’s festival has a full lineup of films, which will be screened Sept. 15 to 18 at the Finnish Labour Temple.

“The Grandfather Drum screened at Sundance (film festival in Utah) and that’s a really, really big thing and a big deal for a filmmaker,” said Desrosier.

“However, there is nothing more satisfying than being able to bring it home and for people to be able to see it on the big screen. It brings it alive when you get to sit in a theatre-sort-of-context, and watch films on a big screen, that is what keeps us doing . . . that passion and experience of seeing something that you have worked on, and community people have worked on both of the films.”

The two films Desrosier was involved with include The Grandfather Drum, which is an animation short about a drum made in the area. The other film is a feature length called Fire Song, that Desrosier helped to produce.

The 12th annual festival has a selection of 45 films, installations, performance and master classes with a theme of Films for the People.

“The festival is growing every year, and this year as well as last we have new equipment . . . it allows us to show and have a much better experience for the films,” said Dennis Dubinsky, festival co-ordinator.

He said the films will range in length from three minutes to feature length from all over the world, with the majority being Canadian.

Along with a wide selection of domestic and international films, the festival is also featuring six master classes with out-of-town filmmakers who will speak on their area of expertise.

Some of the topics include animation, producing, storytelling, and the master classes are open to the public and free. Participants do not need to be a filmmaker to attend.

“This is very necessary because we don’t get to see these films and hear these stories . . . they’re not going to be on other big screens in mainstream theatres . . . and we have 19 that are local and regional, so that is an opportunity for us to see stories here, about us and people in the region,” said Dubinsky, on the importance of the festival.

Passes and tickets can be purchased at the festival office at 314 Bay St. and the Calico coffee house, also on Bay Street.

Go online at www.baystreetfilmfestival.ca see the complete lineup.

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