Feast your eyes at film festival this weekend

  • Mar. 4, 2009 6:00 p.m.

By Heather Ramsay-Starting tomorrow at 9:30 am film aficionados can revel in non-stop movie action all weekend at the first annual Haida Gwaii Film Festival. Organizers Dafne Romero and Geoff Horner say the first movies start at 9:30 am on March 6 at the Haida Heritage Centre and don’t end until 11 pm on Sunday night. There is something of interest to all throughout the weekend, but they hope everyone can make it to the opening gala on Friday night. The party to celebrate the long months of planning and to kick off a weekend chock-a-block with more than 90 films, starts at 6:30 pm with a prayer by Gaaying.uhlas (Roy Jones Sr.) then performances by the Skidegate Haida Dancers and throat-singing by Olga Wrubel. Ms Romero says she decided to forgo the $30 a plate dinner she had planned and just open the doors to everyone for a party. The guests of honour on opening night include three filmmakers from far off places: Arnaldo Diaz Jiméniez from Cuba, Aïda Maigret-Touchet from Paris and Anne Troake from Newfoundland. Ms Romero is really excited about Mr. Jiméniez’s films about biodiversity and coastal management in Cuba that will be showing at the opening gala screenings starting at 8:30. She said Ms Maigret-Touchet’s film Kiyoukta set in Nunavut will also resonate with islanders. Other highlights include Ms Troake’s film My Ancestors were Rogues and Murderers, which adds the filmmaker’s study of the traditional Newfoundland outport culture to the ongoing debate about Canada’s seal hunt. (Saturday, 7 pm). The Green Chain is Mark Leiren Young’s mock-umentary about how the battle between loggers and environmentalists is defining, dividing and destroying communities in Canada. (Saturday, 1 pm). Know your Mushrooms leads viewers on a hunt for the wild mushroom and the deeper cultural experience attached to the mysterious fungi (Sunday, 10:30 am). Machuca (Sunday, 10 pm) is a coming-of-age story set in Chile in 1973 as Pinochet’s military coup creates chaos across the country. The story is about two children, one privileged and one from a nearby shantytown, who become friends during the pandemonium. The gala closing on Sunday night (6:30 pm) will also feature dancers and singers and three locally made films Monumental Pole Raising by Alexander MacDonald, Making Haida History by Nate Jolley and the Golden Spruce by Haidawood. Other local youth films show on Saturday starting at 4 pm. Horror films, comedies, art house, kids movies, documentaries and more are all showing. Full printed schedules can be found at cafes and other