A thriving community
Victoria is an encouraging place to be if you have an interest in film. Whether it’s just enjoying good movies or trying out filmmaking for the first time, this community can provide countless options and opportunities.
For those who want to experience more locally made movies, there are plenty of opportunities this year. Victoria offers a vast amount of film festivals that display a wide range of styles and genres. Here is a quick preview of upcoming film events:
Hosted by the CineVic, this is more of a fun test for filmmakers than a viewer’s festival. Those who sign up will have 72 hours to script, shoot and edit a short film. If you’d like to sign up, registration closes Nov. 3. Filming begins Nov. 24 and the final screenings of the films will be shown on Dec. 1 at the Victoria Event Center.
Victoria International Jewish Film Festival (VIJFF)
VIJFF is interested in bringing film lovers together with those who are interested in, or wish to know more about, Jewish culture. With a collection of films from around the world, there is a little something for everyone. This festival takes place Nov. 18–21, 2017 at the Roxy Theater.
Victoria Film Festival
This festival is only a few months away — taking place Feb. 2–12, 2018 — but is noteworthy nonetheless. The VFF is a ten day celebration of film that is the biggest festival on the island, with over 100 movies and short films shown annually. Tickets are available online.
The Short Circuit Pacific Rim Festival
This is an event presented by CineVic that focuses on short films with a runtime less than 20 minutes. This one is highly recommended for people who would like to try filmmaking but don’t want to dive into the feature length films quite yet. This festival runs from May 4–5, 2018. There are many awards up for grabs, and still time to enter. (The normal submission deadline is Jan. 15, but there is a later date if you need more time.)
These events are great for getting involved in the film community, and they each bring unique experiences that normally would not be easily obtained. Many festivals on this list accept submissions from anyone on the island — so, if you’re a filmmaker, or would like to give it a try, the local film community provides a lot of resources.
If you’re thinking of experimenting on campus, UVic has some equipment that any student can rent out at no extra cost. Based on a first come first serve principle, any student can go to the Music and Media Commons located on the first floor of the McPherson Library to borrow film equipment, usually for a 24-hour period. They have everything from a few cameras and microphones to green screens available, as well as Apple computers with Adobe programs to edit your creations.
Off campus, there is CineVic, an independent filmmaker’s society whose goal is to promote movie making in the community. Located just a few doors down from the Cineplex Odeon on Yates St., CineVic offers top quality equipment, an array of workshops, and member meetups that connect the community. For a small fee, filmmakers can get access to top-of-the-line cameras, lights, microphones, and more, but Executive Director David Geiss wants you to know that’s not all the organization has to offer. The monthly member meetups, for example, are free to attend.
A big part of CineVic is getting its members in the same room “to collaborate with each other,” said Geiss.
CineVic workshops focus on interesting topics from low budget filming to writing effective screen plays. The Society also has a collection of movies and books on film that anyone can take out. Geiss’ favorite in the collection is My First Movie, a book by Stephen Lowenstein that interviews 20 influential directors. To Geiss, the book shows how “even these “big names” had to start somewhere.
To encourage more local productions, CineVic has a program called CINESPARK, where writers/filmmakers can pitch their scripts and potentially win a prize worth $10 000 towards producing their film. The top scripts will then be judged at the Short Circuit Pacific Rim Film Festival on May 4–5. For more information, check out the CineVic website.
There is a flourishing film community here, and that is great for both audiences and creators. So get your friends and popcorn because movie time has never been better in Victoria!