To be accessible to as many people as possible, the 14th Reel Shorts Film Festival will be online in 2021, and completely free of charge to virtually attend.
One of the highlights of the festival, according to organizers, is the debut of the locally produced Small Town Strength, a documentary that looks into the lives of those who dedicate their time to making Mixed Martial Arts a mainstay in the region.
Festival Director Terry Scerbak says the local filmmaking community is growing and thriving, and they are honoured to be able to show off the work produced in the region. She adds the films director and project lead, Darryl Haugen has been honing her craft in the region for some time, starting with the Grande Prairie Regional College Video Production course.
“She has become a filmmaker here in Grande Prairie without having to leave, and has made this wonderful documentary,” she says.
“When the film festival started in 2007 there was no filmmaking community here, so that’s what we really set out as our goal, was to develop a film-making community here in the Peace Region.”
Scerbak says four other Peace Region films will be shown throughout the festival, A Typical Heart directed by Chris Beauchamp and Laura Beauchamp, The Switch, directed by Monty Simo, Undefeated: Journey to the Death Race directed by Rew Jones, and With the Land, directed by Calgary’s Dominique Keller.
She says they decided to throw the festival for free for several reasons, but it primarily comes down to showing off the work created by both local and international artists to as many people as possible.
“It’s the best way to make it available to people, because with Netflix, Disney+ and warm spring weather, let’s make it as accessible as possible this year if we have to be online,” she adds.
In all, 71 short films will be shown, representing productions from 20 countries.
The 2021 Reel Shorts Film Festival will run from April 26th to May 9th.