Cinefest happens Tuesday evenings at Pynelogs. File photo

Scintillating series at annual Cinefest

Annual cinema series starts rolling this Tuesday, October 9th

Coming straight from the Toronto International Film Festival’s independent circuit shortlist, this season’s Cinefest Independent Film Series is sure to entertain Valley viewers once again.

The season of films at Pynelogs opens Tuesday, October 9 with The Bookshop, a love letter to literature and the importance of dreams. The PG film tells the tale of a young widow who turns an old, weathered house into a bookshop. The synopsis sounds intriguing, but you’ll have to turn up Tuesday to watch the full movie. Rounding out the movie experience, Pynelogs offers refreshments and fresh popcorn ready to order.

Even Cinefest organizers don’t get a sneak peek to any of the movies; it is as much a surprise to the them when each film comes to town, and as much of a joy to experience a cinematic piece of art.

“Film is the most powerful art form that I am aware of, and the only way to truly experience it – rather than sitting on a couch at home – is with other people,” urges Cinefest spokesman Chris Jones. “It’s a much more involving experience when you’re with a crowd.”

He says to sit beside other people who are experiencing the same work of art is moving, and truly the best way to engage with this particular art form.

Invermere’s Cinefest has been running two decades strong, bringing in edgy films, documentaries, and entertaining flicks to a local audience keen on supporting this art form, and for those just looking for something to do on a Tuesday evening.

Invermere is one of about 180 sites across Canada that pick and choose from the TIFF’s 50 or so titles that travel the country on tour each year. Mr. Jones and a small committee read over the titles, check out the reviews and take an educated guess at films that will resonate with a local audience. He says it’s hard to predict which ones will pull at the audience, noting it often depends on weather or other factors for the turnout more than the content of the film though there are ‘regulars’ that come for most films. They carefully curate a season intent on drawing in the viewers. For Mr. Jones, the joy of film is something he wants to share, keeping him involved in Cinefest year after year.

“For me, film is the most powerful art form there is,” he reflects. “I’ve always been moved by it, and do my best to bring the power of film to the public.”

A couple years ago, organizers asked the audience if they wanted to see more films in a season and heard a resounding ‘yes’. Unfortunately, offering two films per month meant a divided audience instead of increased attendance, so this year it’s back to one solid film per month.

Show time for each film is 7 p.m. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Buy tickets online for $12 ($11 for members), or at the door. For a full schedule, visit www.columbiavalleyarts.com.

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