Attending a film festival has an integral social impact and offers the opportunity to experience more than just sitting in a theatre and watching a presentation, which is what the FIN Atlantic International Film Festival offers its patrons.
Having just wrapped up its 38th year, the film festival has been well established as a premier event in Halifax, Nova Scotia. They do more than highlight the best in film, by presenting unique ways for people to enjoy the screen presentations and exciting special events.
You may be surprised to learn that ‘FIN’ is not an acronym.
Wayne Carter, Executive Director of the festival, explains, “Although ‘FIN’ does not represent three words, ‘FIN’ itself has meaning. Halifax is on the Atlantic Ocean, which is full of fins and it is the word that appears at the end of French films.”
FIN is also a stroke of branding genius, since it comes up at the top of search engine results.
For the second year in a row, FIN partnered with Autism Nova Scotia to offer relaxed screenings and the films presented at these specialized venues were, ‘designed to be attended by anyone on the spectrum.”
Autism Nova Scotia provided free tickets which encouraged people with varying abilities to see films in more comforting environments, as the theatres offered soft lighting, subdued sound and a safe and calming atmosphere.
People seem to want more from theatres, which has led to the emergence of 4DX films that incorporate effects such as motion, rain, wind and even scents into a movie. Carter suggests that this type of film will appeal, ‘to a certain type of audience looking for a specific experience.”
He continues, “Virtual reality could also be an interesting sensory adventure.” However, it is unlikely that the majority of those going to the theatre would want to be tossed around in their seats and sprinkled with water among other things for a full 90 minutes, making the probability of complete immersive films becoming mainstream nn unlikely expenditure for most film makers.
An exciting feature for film lovers to look forward to is the prospect of a digital pass. Carter explains that, “We are going to adopt a digital aspect to the festival as a way for us to bring FIN to people who cannot attend in person.” As the planning for next year’s festival has already begun, you can be sure adding digital attendance will be on the agenda.
One other way FIN is garnering attention is that women are getting the opportunity to demonstrate their talented filmmaking skills. At this year’s awards ceremony, women were the predominate recipients.
Deanne Foley won The Gordon Parsons Award for Best Atlantic Feature for ‘An Audience of Chairs’, Shelly Thompson won the Best Atlantic Short award for ‘Duck Duck Goose’ and Reneé Blanchar won the Best Atlantic Documentary award for ‘Dans L’Ouest’ (Shadow Men).
Within the film culture, women are definitely forging their own path and being recognized for their efforts.
“I am proud that 59% of our gala performances were directed by women. They are showing their strength and women will continue to be elevated in this profession”. Carter said during an interview.
There were 194 films on the roster at this year’s FIN and they strive to include a mixture of all genres in order to guarantee there is something for everyone. As quoted on their home page, FIN is “Atlantic Canada’s curator of epic and unforgettable stories” and they have certainly demonstrated their commitment as this year’s Atlantic International Film Festival was a resounding success.