A definitive guide to National Canadian Film Day
Plus, take our Canadian film pop quiz to find out just how guilty you'll feel if you don't participate
Though it does have some celebratory competition from that other association people may or may not have 4/20, today is, in fact, National Canadian Film Day. And the folks behind the initiative aren't messing around. For the third annual event, Reel Canada — a non-profit devoted to celebrating Canada through film — has planned an epic 350 events in 182 communities across the country that collectively feature more than 135 Canadian films. Which means there's no reason you can't find a way to participate, especially if the below quiz we put together in honour of today leaves you feeling guilty for knowing very little when it comes to your own country's cinematic output:
Did you score under, say, a 7/10? Then you should read the guide below and figure out a way to take a small step toward becoming a little more Canadian cinema-literate today.
Go to a special event in a major urban centre.
If you live in a big city, there's certainly no shortage of National Canadian Film Day options. In Montreal, 50 high schools will be connected to a live Q&A with Colm Feore and Patrick Huard after they watch Bon Cop Bad Cop, in addition to public screenings throughout the city. There's 12 events across Vancouver, including a screening of Ruba Nadda's immigrant love story Sabah at CBC Vancouver in which will be followed by a discussion with Nadda and two representatives of the Immigrant Services of BC. Andrea Dorfman will on hand in Halifax for a screening of her 2003 film Love That Boy. Calgary will celebrate with a screening of John Fawcett's Ginger Snaps, with the director and actors Katharine Isabelle and Emily Perkins to attend. And finally in Toronto, over 40 events will take place across the city, including a 35th anniversary screening of David Cronenberg's Scanners at Toronto's Royal Cinema, (with the film's star Stephen Lack in attendance) and a special screening of The Grand Seduction in the Atrium of the CBC building, presented by filmmaker Don McKellar. Find out more about what's going on in each city here.
Watch a film on the big screen.
While not all of them may have the filmmakers in attendance, you can watch a Canadian film in a theatre today in pretty much any community across the country. Whether its cineplex screens donated by Landmark Cinemas or CIneplex or various rep theatres, film societies and selected members of the TIFF Film Circuit, hundreds of Canadian films will be screening where you might typically be more inclined to see Star Wars on the marquee. A full list of in-theatre screenings can be found here.
Watch online or on your TV
Too lazy to head to a cinema? Canadian Film Day has you covered twice over. Online you can find free films streaming at cfcreates.com, NFB.ca, cfmdc.org and our own cbc.ca. Mubi will be offering free month-long subscriptions to Canadians, who can watch Atom Egoyan's Calendar with a special dedication penned by the director. Over at Canada Screens, there's a five-day promotion with a selection of 13 films (one from each province and territory) at a special rental rate of $0.99. If that's not enough, here's an epic list of Canadian film offerings available at Cineplex.com, Google Play, iTunes, Netflix, Rogers and Xbox.
As for traditional television, Canadian Film Day has broadcast partners in Bell Media, Hollywood Suite, Corus, Sundance Channel, Shaw Media, Shomi and APTN who will all be dedicating a portion of today's programming to Canadian cinema. Check out what they have in store here.
You can find out everything else you might need to know at the official Canadian Film Day website. And remember, every day (or at least a couple days a month) should be National Canadian Film Day on our various screens. If you have time to watch 13 episodes of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt in one sitting, you have time for a couple Canadian films too.