Maple Ridge Has a Film Festival Now, Too

Maple Ridge’s inaugural Festival of BC Film shines a spotlight on amazing local talent.

March 6, 2017

By Maansi Pandya

This month, the ACT Arts Centre and the Ridge Film Studio will host the first-ever Maple Ridge Festival of BC Film. In celebration of our province’s very own film industry, the lineup includes feature length films, shorts and documentaries, all of which were shot in B.C.

For Executive and Artistic Director, Lindy Sisson, the three-day festival is an opportunity to champion new Canadian artists. “In 2015 Maple Ridge saw 289 shoot days which is very significant for a community of our size,” says Sisson. “Seeing the increase in film activity in the area, I thought a film festival would be a great idea. We decided to take the risk and launch it.”

The goal of the event is to bring more attention to the work and talent of local filmmakers. British Columbia is one of the largest film centres in North America, but Sisson says that though our province is given a spotlight at larger events like the Vancouver International Film Festival she hasn’t seen anything that focuses specifically on B.C. talent.

“Since this is an inaugural event we’ve chosen films from 2012 to 2016, so we have quite a variety of films to share in different genres,” says Sisson. “One of the documentaries is called Fractured Land. It’s an environmental documentary about a young Indigenous leader and lawyer named Caleb Behn who ‘reconciles the fractures within himself, his community and the world around him.’” Another film, Into the Forest, was shot in Pitt Meadows and features internationally known actors Ellen Page and Evan Rachel Wood.

Fractured Land

Sisson is confident that, as the festival builds over time, future possibilities are likely. From having other industry activities take place in tandem with the festival, or going to sources like Telefilm or Creative BC for funding, she says an event like this carries plenty of potential.

With entertainment news usually covering major blockbusters, the Maple Ridge Festival of BC Film is a great place to support locally made film and experience the excellence of the industry. “Distribution can be challenging and people are inundated with so many choices,” Sisson says. “I always encourage people to try something a little different.”

Maple Ridge Festival of BC Film

When: March 17 to 19
Where: ACT Arts Centre, 11944 Haney Pl., Maple Ridge
Tickets: Single, $11 | Three, $27 | Six, $50


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