How to organize a #CanFilmDay viewing party in 6 easy steps

On April 19, Canada will host the largest single-day film festival — ever. So grab a bag of popcorn and get ready for a movie night of national significance.

Choose your own National Canadian Film Day adventure

This happy herbivore will be watching all the Canadian films on April 19. Don't moose out. (NCFD 150)

On April 19, Canada is hosting the largest single-day film festival ever — so grab a bag of popcorn and get ready for a movie night of national significance.

This year's event, scaled up in honour of Canada 150 celebrations, brings thousands of free screenings to every province and territory. (Many events are set to take place in unique and unusual locations!)

Want to join the massive audience? Here's your quick and simple guide to enjoying National Canadian Film Day, on your own terms. 

WHO: Choose your company

Get 'em while their young. Your kids might just be Canadian cinephiles in the making. (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Would you rather crack up with a cinema full of comedy fans or cozy up with a snoozing cat?

Your first step is deciding whether you're going solo, choosing an accomplice or gathering a group of movie-loving friends.

WHAT: Pick your movie(s) 

Now that you've got your audience in mind, it's time to pick your flick.

Are you looking for something family friendly? Can you stomach a classic Canadian horror? With over 1700 screenings to choose from, there's something for everyone.

For its part, the CBC has curated a selection of critically acclaimed classics that will stream for free online.  

And hey, if you've got the time, why not make it a marathon and watch more than one? 

The CBC will stream a selection of acclaimed movies for National Canadian Film day, including Atanarjuat. The Inuit epic was voted best Canadian film of all time in 2015. (The Canadian Press)

WHEN: Set your alarm

As much as we'd like every day to be Canadian film day,  April 19 is the only day this year you'll have your choice of free public events across the country — however, the window's a little wider for enjoying our online selection.

On the CBC watch website, most of the films listed above will be available online until April 26. 

WHERE: Decide on your location

If you're willing to venture off your couch for a wider selection, here's an interactive map detailing all the events taking place in Canada and other parts of the world. See what's happening where you are. 

 

HOW: Lock down the details

Each public screening has its own start time, address and seating limit, so search by location and jot down the relevant instructions.

If you're in a big city, be sure to get to your venue early to avoid disappointment. And if you're in a smaller town, a remote location or even somewhere abroad, remember: there may still be a screening for you! 

The Grand Seduction, directed by Don McKellar, will screen at the Canadian embassy in the Democratic Republic of Congo — one of several international screenings. (The Canadian Press)

If you're keen to participate from home, visit watch.cbc.ca on April 19 to see one of the films being screened by the CBC.

Still have questions? The National Canadian Film Day website has painstakingly provided answers — from "which films guarantee a laugh?" to "which films will please a picky teenager?"

WHY: Question what you know about Canadian cinema

Okay, let's be honest: unless you're already a convert, your interest in #CanFilmDay might hinge on the word free.

Still, something you see this year — whether it's a screening in the actual filming location or a movie powerful enough to influence a generation — you might just come away believing that Canadian cinema is worth supporting all year long. 

The Skin We're In is billed as "vital viewing on the myth of Canadian tolerance." The hard-hitting documentary is among the many films you can watch on April 19.

Our friends at CBC Arts have made the case for homegrown film quite elegantly.

Their interview with filmmaker Kevin Funk takes a run at the "exhaustive narrative that Canadian film sucks, and is bad and broken." He wants to change the narrative to "Canadian cinema is great and you just don't know it." 

In that spirit, we hope you'll sit back on April 19 and let the movies make their own case. 

Are you tuning in to National Canadian Film Day? Here's a quick challenge for you. Can you review your Canadian film of choice in five words/emojis or less? Email us 2017@CBC.ca, tweet us @cbc2017 or find us on Facebook. Don't forget to tag you microreview #CanFilmDay

About the Author

Fabiola Melendez Carletti

Fabiola Melendez Carletti is a journalist and digital storyteller. She is currently lending her talents to Canada 2017, the CBC's year-long sesquicentennial project.

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