Forget TIFF, Cannes or Sundance—for one weekend in November, Fredericton has a film festival all its own.
The Silver Wave Festival was created 17 years ago by the New Brunswick Film Cooperative (N.B. Film Co-op) to showcase films made by New Brunswick filmmakers, but in recent years, the event has turned into an international film festival.
The Festival was the “brainchild” of the N.B. co-op staff, executive director Tony Merzetti and Cat Le Blanc in 2000 after a brainstorming session at a board meeting.
They felt an event like this was necessary to celebrate and showcase the work of New Brunswick filmmakers, given the challenges they face to produce these films and the few existing opportunities to show their final product.
“Even though the film festival grew over time and we accepted films from around the world, the spotlight on the New Brunswick filmmakers has always been on the forefront,” Le Blanc said.
She remembers the festival’s first year “almost felt like a retrospective,” because there hadn’t been an event that collectively showcased the films produced by N.B. Co-op Filmmakers since the Co-op’s creation in 1979. “There were little screening here and there, but not one that formed a [cohesive screening].”
LeBlanc said the event was really exciting as they screened films from the Co-op archives, which hadn’t had a showcase opportunity, as well as brand-new films from that same year.
This year marks the Silver Wave Festival’s 17th edition. The four-day event will feature short dramas, comedies, environmental and music videos, as well as animation and documentary films in concurrent screenings at different locations, including showings at Carleton Hall on campus.
The festival kicks off with a free opening gala start at 6:30 p.m. this Thursday, Nov. 2, with a concert event at which The Capital Project Presents: Awesome; I Shot That! Will be screened. This opening will take place at the Boyce Farmer’s Market. Silver Wave also includes a free Industry Series, which offer attendees to learn more about the industry behind the artform.
The lineup of films promises diversity, both in the multiplicity of voices represented and the genres of films being offered. Above all, the festival provides local filmmakers a platform for their work.
“I think just seeing the New Brunswick filmmakers shine is really a wonderful thing. We work on this festival all year long to bring it to life each November,” LeBlanc said.
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