OK Canada, get out the popcorn and prepare to watch a great Canadian movie on April 29, the second annual National Canadian Film Day.
English-Canadian films constitute just 1.5 percent of all films shown at Canadian cinemas in the past 10 years, according to Movie Theatre Association of Canada statistics. But Canada’s film industry has been steadily growing over the last decade and is producing some first-rate movies and documentaries that are recognized and respected around the globe.
Last year, REEL Canada introduced National Canadian Film Day as a way for Canadian films to be watched in communities across the country on April 29 and to foster an appreciation for Canadian cinema.
“It’s a light-hearted intervention for our national consciousness, a wake-up call to anyone who has not yet been exposed to the great cinematic stories we tell one another in this cold, vast country,” says REEL Canada’s website.
National Canadian Film Day aims to showcase Canada’s film industry and is a way for moviegoers to show a little love by watching a Canadian-made film.
To help make this happen there will be over 150 screenings at theatres (Cineplex Entertainment and Landmark Cinemas) and in community halls from Halifax to Vancouver.
For those who don’t want to leave their homes, TV broadcasters will have a variety of Canadian programming on multiple channels. Bell Media will show more than 30 Canadian feature films on eight networks including The Movie Network, Space, HBO, and Bravo. Movies will also be provided online by CBC and NFB, among others.
“National Canadian Film Day reminds Canadians about the extraordinary creative talent in our country that continues to bring unique Canadian perspectives to movie-goers at home and abroad,” says Len Westerberg, spokesperson with the Department of Canadian Heritage.
“Our strength lies in the wonderful Canadian creative talent that goes into making films—directors, writers, actors and countless others—that are being recognized here and internationally.”
REEL Canada is a non-profit organization that has two core programs aimed at increasing exposure to Canadian films and growing audiences who can appreciate them. “Our Films in Our Schools” presents films to students in grades 9 through 12 when requested by teachers, and “Welcome to Canada” provides films for communities to show to people of all ages who are immigrants to Canada.
Since 2005 REEL Canada has shown Canadian films to over 200,000 students and newcomers at more than 800 festivals across the country. Now, the organization has a third way to help the nation embrace Canadian cinema with National Canadian Film Day.
“We are always proud to see such a wide range of exceptional Canadian content available to moviegoers. Our National Canadian Film Day reinforces that feeling of pride and we are particularly pleased that every year offers an exciting new array of films that demonstrate Canadian excellence in filmmaking,” says Westerberg.
“On April 29, we encourage everyone to enjoy the second National Canadian Film Day by watching a Canadian film on screens big and small.”
For an interactive map providing information on theatre and community screenings: www.canadianfilmday.ca/events
For a full listing of TV movies: www.canadianfilmday.ca/film-on-tv
For information on online viewing: www.canadianfilmday.ca