Film festival moving to Trinity Hall on Algoma
The Bay Street Film Festival is back for its 13th incarnation, but this time it’s not on Bay Street.
Usually held at the Finlandia, the festival has moved to Trinity Hall on Algoma Street as festival organizers rebrand the popular event.
“This will be our last Bay Street Film Festival,” said coordinator Dennis Dubinsky, adding it will now be know as the Vox Popular Media Arts Festival to reflect the different mediums media artists are now doing.
Trinity Hall also offers more options in terms of space.
“This is double the capacity,” said Dubinsky.
“This will seat almost 450 in here. We have much more opportunity here.”
This year’s festival features 55 films from around the world — 15 from Northwestern Ontario, 13 Indigenous themed films, four French-language films, 10 animated films and 25 documentaries.
“We have 18 filmmakers coming from various parts of the world as well,” said Dubinsky.
“We have two media installations, so there’s lots more than just the films.”
There are also workshops led by the filmmakers. The workshops are free and open to the public.
This year’s festival also features a 360 projection screen in the assembly hall.
“People will get a little taste of 360 and how that works,” Dubinsky said.
That area will also include a cafe, silent auction table and on-demand viewing services for anyone who has missed a film screening they were hoping to see.
Dubinsky said he thinks the diversity of the festival has kept it popular.
“There’s such a wide range and all genres of films and we really do work hard to bring a lot of local and regional films in but also films from all over the world,” he said. “It’s that plus getting to interact with filmmakers — ask questions, learn what they’re doing, attend classes they’re running.”
One of this year’s visiting filmmakers is Selma Nayebi from Iran whose film Open Doors is on Thunder Bay’s Urban Abbey.
Nayebi discovered the Urban Abbey when visiting the festival last year.
Thunder Bay’s Kelly Saxberg and Dianne Brothers film on Sheila Burnford will also be screened.
Long Walk Home: The Incredible Journey of Sheila Burnford tells the story of the woman who wrote the book The Incredible Journey, the popular children’s book about three pets making their way through Northwestern Ontario’s wilderness to return to their owners.
Saxberg, the festival founder, said the move from Bay Street is exciting.
“That really reflects the work we’ve been doing over the past couple of years,” she said.
“The heart of our festival has always been showing local film and media arts and inviting filmmakers and media artists from around the world so we can sort of show off,” she added.
Festival passes are $30 and session tickets are $10.
Passes are available at Calico and all Thunder Bay Public Library locations.