Tomorrow is the first-ever Canadian Film Day — a chance to celebrate Canada by watching a great Canadian film.
The purpose, according to Canadian Film Day’s somewhat tongue-in-cheek website, is to help people in this vast nation get to know each other a bit better:
‘Way back in the day, it was the railroad that tied us all together,’ the website states. ‘Canada needs another kind of track for the 21st century, so Reel Canada humbly suggests: Movies. It’s easier to watch a movie than take a train trip and when it’s over you don’t have to find a hotel or deal with your luggage.’
More than 40 Canadian films will be screened in communities from Dawson City, Yukon (Goon with Jay Baruchel) to St. John’s (Sarah Polley’s Stories We Tell). If you can’t make it out to a movie theatre, there are online and in-home options, and if you happen to be in the clouds, Air Canada will offer 12 new Canadian features and short films as part of its in-flight entertainment.
You can even organize your own screening, and National Canadian Film Day will include it in their events section. All you need to do is email them at email@example.com with the subject: "I want to plan a screening." And yes, even a basement viewing with your cat will count — for that, we'd recommend Cordell Barker’s classic NFB short The Cat Came Back:
The project is an initiative of Reel Canada, a non-profit group that helps bring home-grown cinema to classrooms across the country.
To help get you ready for Canadian film Day, a few Canadian films from recent red chair guests:
An online option for the truly adventurous: Gordon Pinsent’s 1972 screenplay debut The Rowdyman, embedded below (and his less rowdy red chair appearance).
The Lesser Blessed, starring Benjamin Bratt, which will be broadcast on MFest HD (here's Bratt in the red chair).
And Fubar, Michael Dowse's 2002 mockumentary, which will be broadcast on MGM Channel (here's George's recent conversation with Dowse).
CBC is one of the many sponsors that have joined Reel Canada in the month-long campaign to celebrate and raise awareness of the achievements of great Canadian filmmakers. According to Reel Canada, National Canadian Film Day will be an annual event on the last Tuesday of April each year.