Film in Vancouver: A tale of two festivals

Are you tired of sitting back and watching the spectacle of Hollywood film?

There are more ways to engage with film in Vancouver than see the latest blockbuster on the big screen. For instance, there are two yearly film festivals right here in Vancouver of note: the annual Columbia River Gorge Film Festival, which runs every August, and the Diversity Film Festival which runs September 12 through October 3.

These events bring to light ideas and viewpoints not necessarily discussed in this year’s blockbuster hits, and are a great way to engage with new ideas.

The price won’t strain a starving student’s pockets, either. Instead of costing upwards of $8 a ticket, the national average as reported by variety.com, these events are totally free.

The Columbia River Gorge Festival is hosted every year by a variety of local businesses. During the most recent festival, films were screened at Brickhouse, The Source Climbing Center, Voca and more.

Over the last five years, 1,390 films from 65 countries have been filmed at the Columbia River Gorge Festival, according to Breven Angaelica, film festival founder and executive director. Aside from the films themselves, there is a lot of activity at the Columbia River Gorge Festival, from screen writing workshops to guest speakers. Angaelica explained that during the 2012 festival, an entire feature-length film was shot and produced.

Do you feel like you missed all the fun this summer? Don’t worry, there’s a festival coming to WSU Vancouver.

Hosted by the Diversity Council, this year’s Diversity Film Festival will focus on diversity of faith. This year’s festival will be kicked off downtown at Kiggins Theatre with Life of Pi on Sept. 12, according to Abril Hunt, WSU Vancouver Financial Aid councilor and festival organizer. If that’s too far for you to travel, don’t worry, the other three films being screened will be shown in VDEN 110. After each film there will be a panel to discuss the films, their theme and how they help bring diversity to campus.

Not only are both festivals free, but also they offer great ways to engage with the films. From many of the actors, producers and other members of the filmmaking process being present to answer your questions or receive your adoration, at the screening at the Columbia River Gorge Festival, to the open dialogue at the Diversity Film Festival, these festivals are two wonderful ways to get involved with the film community.

For more information about these festivals you can visit their websites. The Columbia River Gorge Film Festival webpage can be found at: angaelica.com/festivals/2013cgiff/venues/. For information about the upcoming WSU Vancouver Diversity Film Festival please visit: admin.vancouver.wsu.edu/diversity/diversity-film-festival.

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