Sudbury Indie Cinema has new home, will open doors for film fest Thursday

It’s taken five and a half years, but Sudbury’s Indie Cinema will finally be able to screen films in its own venue.

Journey to open door to new venue has more twists and turns than a Hollywood thriller

Beth Mairs, director of Sudbury Indie Cinema Co-Op, at the group's new venue at 162 Mackenzie Street. (Markus Schwabe/CBC)

It's taken five and a half years, but Sudbury's Indie Cinema will finally be able to screen films in its own venue.

The local film co-operative will be opening its doors at 162 Mackenzie Street this Thursday for an event called the Junction North International Documentary Film Festival, which showcases documentaries from around the world..

But the journey to get to this point involved a few hurdles, said Beth Mairs, the festival's director.

"It's been many years in the making...I feel like if this was a file that was being loaded we'd be at ninety-nine percent," Mairs told CBC's Morning North. "But what they don't tell you is all of those factors that have to come in in a beautiful way to hit one hundred."

"And we're hoping to hit one hundred by this Thursday, with many things still not in place…like seats."

Mairs said the special cinema-style seats were delayed in shipment due to poor weather in British Columbia. From there, there was a delay getting the shipment from rail to transport truck.

"That's been a real nail biter," Mairs said. "I've been told they've made it to Toronto and they're going to be shipped up...Tuesday to Sudbury is my understanding."

A team of installers is also arriving from western Canada, Mairs said. Whether or not they can get them in place by the festival's opening is another matter.

"To me, seats are the least of my concerns," Mairs said. "Because we have risers and what we have cultivated with the Junction North International Documentary Film Festival is a group of keen documentary film lovers who we have trained to be sitting in crappy know at the library, and I mean no offense to the library but you know those typical metal chairs."

The Sudbury Indie Cinema Co-op will screen international documentaries, like The Lonely Battle of Thomas Reid, a story which pits an Irish farmer against U.S. tech giant Intel. (Irish Film Institute)

Mairs also had to deal with a strange case of missing films.

"I found out that on Thursday some of the films that were being shipped up were ending up at my neighbour's, who I'd never met," Mairs said.

"So I'm in a rural part of of Greater Sudbury. And she just happened to catch the delivery person. She could spy from her house that someone in a truck was delivering things and putting them in her garbage bin at the end of her driveway."

"So she went out and looked and they were a bunch of courier packages and she just happened to see the phone number and she just happened to be a good Samaritan and motivated and called me [and said] I think these are yours."

"So I don't know if we've intercepted all of those, or if some of them are indeed at the landfill."

So when you're asking if I'm stressed I have to put it in this perspective of, this is crazy. I mean it's it's crazy and I can't control it."

Tickets are still available for the event. You can visit the Sudbury Indie Cinema website for more info or click here to buy tickets.