“For the past nine years, Reel Canada has been introducing young people and new Canadians to great Canadian films and the response has been overwhelmingly positive,” says Jack Blum, executive director of Reel Canada.
This year on Tuesday, April 29, the Can-con boosters are kicking their outreach up a notch with the establishment of National Canadian Film Day.
“We thought it would be great for one day a year to extend that invitation to all Canadians,” Blum says. “We just believe that if we can overcome the ‘awareness’ barrier created by the huge promotional budgets Hollywood commands for its product, that people will embrace our fantastic legacy of great cinema.”
To help celebrate the inaugural National Canadian Film Day, Cineplex has donated screens to show a variety of homegrown films, including the festival hit C.R.A.Z.Y. and Paul Gross’s Passchendaele. The Reel Canada website boasts that great Canadian films will be “available in more communities on a single day than ever before in our nation’s history.”
“There are screenings happening all over the country,” says Blum, “literally in every province and territory as well as online and on TV. Of course, if you’re in Toronto, the place to be is the Royal on College, where Bruce McDonald and Don McKellar will be presenting Highway 61 and Last Night.”
Blum waves the flag when discussing the importance of exposure to Canadian films. “Canadian movies reflect Canadian experience. Period. When people see themselves and their world depicted on screen it gives them a stronger sense of where they live and what community or communities they belong to.”’