This year there were more than 200 films being screened, and at $12 a pop I obviously couldn't see many of them, so I decided to go for something uniquely Canadian and attended a collection of five short films, all with either an Inuit, Metis, or First Nations theme. There was even a short film illustrated and personally introduced by the world-famous (or at least I think he's world-famous) Nova Scotia artist, Alan Syliboy.
I can't comment on the festival much other than to say, that with my sweat pants and t-shirt on, I definitely stood out in the crowd of what seemed to be mostly art school film buffs and middle-aged hippie film buffs. I felt somewhat self conscious and out of place at first, but nonetheless was intrigued by the conversations going on around me.
By eavesdropping I managed to ascertain that the people in front of me were the wife and son of one of the directors, along with the director's manager (possibly? I'm not sure exactly what he was the manager of). Behind me was another director, and I was able to pick up all sorts of behind the scenes stories about shooting for the National Film Board of Canada from him and his other film making friends.
I thoroughly enjoyed the decidedly independent nature of the films, and my only regrets on the evening that I attended were that it was in fact only just one evening, and that the showing was so late getting started that I could barely stay awake (I've recently started a new job that requires me to wake up at 5:00 AM every morning, so I've been a little tired as of late). Hopefully by next year my finances will be in order to the point where I can buy a festival pass and attend more of the films. Until then, I'll shore up on my film watching skills by renting past Atlantic Film Festival movies from the award winning independent rental store, Video Difference, near my home. Don't worry though, I won't be wasting time, it's called "training."