From onsite to online: Silver Wave Film Festival goes virtual from Nov. 5-12
20th anniversary celebrates a diverse mix of films, docs and shorts and they're free to stream
The annual grassroots festival champions films and filmmakers with a special focus on New Brunswick creators.
Throughout the eight days, some content will be available at scheduled times like the in-person festival did. All films will be available for viewing in a virtual format where viewers can choose the best time to watch content on their schedule.
We asked Festival Organizer Cat LeBlanc to weigh in on a few topics:
With a re-imagining of the Silver Wave Film Festival, during a year like no other, what was your greatest challenge going from screen to stream to a virtual festival?
"The biggest challenge was learning the new technology (streaming, video on demand, setting up online Q and A's etc.) to go from in person events to fully virtually. We felt like we were turning into a broadcaster to a certain degree which was a strange feeling. What helped us was that we were fairly technology savvy to begin with and it was more a matter of transitioning into that mind set and set up fully."
What are some stand-out films that will stick with audiences long after the festival?
"The N.B. Shorts are always highly popular annually at our festival."
"There are so many stand out films that it's really difficult to answer this question. One film which was truly a revelation was Mr. Emancipation by Canadian filmmaker Preston Chase. This film should be a teaching tool in classrooms across Canada, it is a hidden part of our history."
"The documentary Mr. Emancipation is the story of Walter L. Perry's determination to put on a celebration that would transcend divisions of race and class."
"He staged an Emancipation Day festival that was where everyone wanted to be. Eleanor Roosevelt, Martin Luther King Jr., Jesse Owens all headed there because, as civil rights activist Dick Gregory said: "The largest Juneteenth celebration was not in America, it was in Windsor, Canada."
"Skillfully employing a docu-thriller style and staying steadfastly committed to the story, director Ying Wang follows the grieving parents for 10 years as they navigate a new culture and a complex web of bureaucracy in search of answers."
"While tracing Shi-Ming's footsteps through reenactments and interviews with those closest to him, Wang explores the intricate connection between parental expectations, migration and mental health. A powerful testament to parental devotion, The World is Bright takes a look at mental health within immigrant communities through the sensitive portrayal of two parents channeling their grief into hope." It's a Hot Docs Emerging Canadian Filmmaker Award Winner.
"The award-winning first time feature Bone Cage by Halifax filmmaker Taylor Olson is amazing. Taylor also stars in the film. The film opens our Silver Wave on Thursday, November 5 at 7 p.m."
"Jamie (Taylor Olson) works as a wood processor, clear-cutting for pulp in small-town Nova Scotia. At the end of each shift, he walks through the destruction he has created looking for injured animals and rescues those he can."
"Adapted from a play by Nova Scotia author Catherine Banks, Bone Cage is an impressive first feature from Halifax actor/filmmaker Taylor Olson that sensitively excavates the tragedy of how young people in rural communities, employed in the destruction of their environment, treat the people they love at the end of their shift."
Bone Cage is winner of FIN Best Atlantic Feature, Best Atlantic Director, Best Atlantic Screenwriting and Best Atlantic Cinematography.
What is the best kept secret at this year's festival? Perhaps it's that one film, an organizational triumph, that made you, or you believe will make audiences go "WOW"?
"The feature documentary ENTANGLED is a new, feature-length film by David Abel and Andy Laub about how climate change has accelerated a collision between one of the world's most endangered species, North America's most valuable fisher, and a federal agency mandated to protect both. This film is a Jackson Wild award winner which is the equivalent of the Oscars for Environmental films."
Is there an unsung hero of Silver Wave Film Festival already emerging even before the fest opens (a film already creating a buzz perhaps)?
"The unsung hero for Silver Wave this year is the screening content for Silver Wave as it tackles serious subject matter and issues brought to us by filmmakers who care (from forgotten Black history, suicide, depression, mental illness, mental abuse, consent to drug abuse). There is also comedy too to lighten this heavy, but important, load that we call reality. Everything from talking dogs causing havoc to sex toys being throw through windows."
SHARING DIVERSITY AT SILVER WAVE
- Mr. Emancipation informs us about a time in history that we all should know about thanks to filmmaker Preston Chase.
- The music video Find Your Way by Indigenous filmmaker Corrina Merasty is the story of a young indigenous woman living on the streets and how she is helped by her community to find her way back to them. This music video was produced with a group of indigenous creatives and actors and highlights a serious issue.
- The Canadian short Urban Closet by Derrick Powers is a short art video about the alienation and anxiety of being in the closet and how urban environments affect our lives.
- The N.B. documentary short, Normani: From Dream to Drag by Cori Brownlee is a behind-the-scenes look at Saint John, N.B.'s newest and upcoming Drag Queen Normani.
- The N.B. documentary Noah, 18 ans, by Francine Hébert is about Noah, an eloquent and courageous transgender teen.
- The short film Maya Eterna by Arianna Martinez is about a young woman who finds it difficult to adjust after moving from Argentina to Canada.