Kingston Canadian Film Festival to offer virtual & in-person screenings

Upcoming festival highlights Canadian filmmakers

KCFF embraces hybrid delivery.
Supplied by KCFF

The annual Kingston Canadian Film Festival (KCFF) is returning Mar. 3 to 13 with a new hybrid delivery method offering viewers virtual and in-person screenings.

This year’s film lineup includes a combination of feature films and shorts of various genres.

“Our goal is to provide a little bit of everything for any viewer,” Marc Garniss, KCFF festival director, told The Journal in an interview. “We have a good mix.”

KCFF will showcase newly released Canadian films, including submitted pieces and award-winning titles from festivals like TIFF and VIFF.

 “We want to make sure the lineups as fresh as possible,” Garniss said. “The goal is for people to come to the festival and have access to these films for the first time.”

KCFF aims to highlight Canada’s often unnoticed and underappreciated film industry.

“There's a lot we as Canadians don't see that is being made by our national filmmakers,” Garniss explained. “I think it's important for people to see some of these stories and films being created right here [in Canada].”

While most of the films will be digitally accessible, KCFF has scheduled eight in-person screenings—significantly less than their typical 75-80.

Nonetheless, Garniss is excited for the opportunity to host in-person screenings again after pandemic restrictions put last year’s festival completely online and cancelled KCFF 2020.

“It seems like forever since we've been in theaters, so I'd say I'm most looking forward to [being in-person],” he said.

Divided between the Isabel Bader Centre and The Screening Room, in-person screenings will be hosted from Mar. 3 to 6.

“Even within the in-person component, people will still have the choice whether or not they want to go to something more spacious, like the Isabel’s concert hall, or if they’re comfortable going to The Screening Room,” Garniss said.

Garniss recognized going virtual also has its benefits.

“I think long term, there will have been some good that's come from the digital festival, just as far as expanding our audience and raising awareness in other countries and in people who would [otherwise] never attend.”

He recommends watching the director Q&A portions of the screenings to get the best experience from this year’s festival,

“Nothing beats going to see a film and experiencing those 90 or 120 minutes of seeing somebody on screen and then having them walk out to talk to you,” Garniss said.

“So, if you're there in-person and you know that the filmmaker is going to be there, sit tight through the credits and wait for [the Q&A portion].”

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