Wednesday, 16 April 2014, 11:51 pm

Best Canadian cinema in Welland

Every other Sunday afternoon until Feb. 23, Welland Public Library will be screening the newest National Film Board of Canada productions for free. SUBMITTED PHOTOBy SHEILA PRITCHARD
Staff writer
Bring your own popcorn and an open mind.
Until Feb. 23, Welland Public Library will be screening the newest National Film Board (NFB) of Canada productions, including documentaries, animated shorts and feature films.
Every other Sunday afternoon from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., library visitors are invited to enjoy an afternoon of the best Canadian cinema has to offer, at no cost.
“I think the NFB produces very good films, both entertaining and educational, and those films can relate to our daily lives, especially the documentaries — like with environmental, social and political issues and historic events,” says Ken Su, librarian and NFB event organizer at the library.
“These films help open people’s minds and remind us we don’t live in a cocoon. They sort of give us a window to see the world in a bigger view.”
Vivian Learn, of Welland, came to see the Jan. 12 screening of Stories We Tell, a film directed by Oscar-nominated writer-director Sarah Polley.
Learn, who was in the library’s cozy screening room for her first NFB viewing experience, says she had been looking forward to seeing the film so she jumped at the chance to watch it for free.
“I was reading the paper the other day and saw this movie was playing here. I had been hearing about it for a while and it sounded very interesting.”
Learn says she enjoyed the film, a documentary that unpeeled layers of myth and memory to find the elusive truth at the core of a family of storytellers. Learn says she would like to come back to the library to see more NFB screenings.
“Certain things like documentaries really interest me, these films about real people. I hope to come out for more showings over the next few weeks.”
Deb Soska, of Welland, read about the screening on the library events board and says she came to see Stories We Tell not because she had heard of the film, but because the thought a free Sunday afternoon movie was appealing.
“I don’t live far from the library and had nothing planned for the day. I thought it was a great way to spend the afternoon.”
Élise Labbé, head of festivals and audience development for the NFB, says the idea of the screenings is to give all Canadians access to new and independent Canadian releases.
“The key word here is accessibility. We produce many films every year and some of these are released through broadcast, sometimes they are released in theatres, but many of our films play only in festivals and in other countries and Canadians do not have easy access to them.”
Labbé says the NFB makes sure there is balanced content in the films it distributes for screenings.
“We see every film that is produced. The film’s subject matter is important to Canadians. Sometimes we have films that are more entertaining, others are tougher subjects, but we try to offer a bit of everything and only our best films.”
The NFB provides Canadians with the most recent and most interesting titles, and libraries are the perfect place to show the films, says Labbé.
“The whole idea is to really give everyone access to some outstanding Canadian cinema. Also, it’s for people to come together for the experience of seeing a film with others in their community. It’s what we call the true experience of cinema.”
The next screening will be Jan. 26, featuring The Fruit Hunters, a documentary showing the intertwining relationship of humans and the fruit we eat.
February screenings include The People of the Kattawapiskak River, a film examining the cause of a housing crisis for 1,700 Cree people in Northern Ontario and Buying Sex, a movie exploring points of view on the state of prostitution laws in Canada.
For more information about the NFB and to watch films, excerpts, trailers and interactive works, visit the award-winning online Screening Room at www.nfb.ca.

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