2016 Film Fest Wrap-up

Following is an open letter from Gary Shilling.


Record Crowds attend 15th Anniversary Powell River Film Festival at the Patricia Theatre.

The 15th Anniversary Powell River Film Festival was a very successful event. Local film aficionados came out in record numbers to view tour outstanding selection of feature documentaries, dramas and shorts. They embraced our local filmmakers, visiting filmmakers, students and potential filmmakers in the pursuit of their craft.”

A total of 54 Festival passes were sold, and over the course of 15 screenings, 3264 seats were filled! Three of the shows were sold out, with the Claudia Medina & Charles Wilkinson’s film combination having a rush-seating lineup.

Of the 13 screenings open to the public, 5 were feature documentaries, 4 were feature dramas, and 1 was a feature animation; 2 were repeat screenings of the popular The Lady in the Van.


A lively panel discussion was organized by the Hospice Society after the Tender screening.

Six presenting partnerships were forged.to enhance the impact of specific film themes: Powell River Hospice Society and Division of Family Practice, the Let’s Talk Trash Team, the Tla’amin Canoe Family, Powell River Diversity Initiative, and LEAP of Brooks Secondary (Leadership, Ecology & Adventure Program).


Media Maker Meetup.

The Festival was a confab of media makers. 5 guest filmmakers and media educators from other communities joined 7 local media workers. They presented films, taught filmmaking seminars and mentored student filmmakers. 3 question & answer sessions were held, including 1 via online video conferencing.


Film Camp – a total of 22 students participated in this year’s film camp. 12 were Rotary sponsored and 10 were from the Powell River Digital Film School.

Six mentors came to camp this year to guide six crews through the filmmaking process. Tony Papa (Powell River Digital Film School), Claudia Medina (Filmmaker, Powell River), Terry Brown (Amphibiographer, Powell River), Shannon Hagen (Digital media teacher, Campbell River), and Mike Schoenals (Film teacher, Heritage Woods, Vancouver), returned as experienced film camp mentors.

Tony, Shannon and Mike led drama crews, while Claudia’s focus was a documentary production. Terry’s specialty is underwater videography, so his crew produced a drama that took place in the pool at the Recreation Complex. There was one mentor new to camp, Tristan Bellmane (Powell River). Tristan led a crew in animation.

Presentations and Post-Production Support

Peg Campbell – Story Development and Film School Presentation; Zoe Ludski (Powell River) – Sound Design and Sound Editing; Charles Wilkinson (Victora) – Seminar on Presenting Films/Realities of the Profession; Lowell Boran (Powell River) – Technical Support; Robin Gibson (Powell River) – Graphics Support.


The 15th Anniversary session of the Powell River Film Festival was a celebratory event. Attendance numbers reflected the enthusiastic support for our film selections, our improved website, and new Festival Guide. Public & school attendance and admission sales increased by 50% over last year with 8 schools participating.

All of us at the Festival are grateful for the support of the public, our volunteers, sponsors, board and staff. Everyone’s contribution resulted in revived energy and enthusiasm for our program.

We listened to you input from last year’s survey – resulting in lower fees and prices, and increased marketing. If you have input regarding this festival, contact our Director Michelle Hignell. She welcomes your thoughts.

Thank you everyone! Gary Shilling, Film Fanatic.

All info and pic creds: Gary Shilling and Powell River Film Festival.

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