Industry, fans get behind Canadian Film Day

Events linked to the Reel Canada initiative will be taking place in over 75 communities across the country.
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It’s twice as big and with a good portion of the Canadian film industry behind it, organizers are hoping the sophomore year of National Canadian Film day will be twice as successful.

Being executed today across Canada, the event, which is organized by non-profit Reel Canada, is running more than twice as many events in nearly twice as many communities across Canada as it did last year.

Having locked partnerships with broadcasters, theatre owners, distributors and community partners for screenings, the initiative includes over 150 events in 75 communities across Canada today (April 29). In Toronto alone there will be 29 events, including a screening of Corner Gas: The Movie at Riverdale Collegiate, a boost from 75 screenings in 45 communities last year.

Reel Canada has also partnered with 49 libraries around the country to screen films.

Promotion for National Canadian Film Day this year includes short, 20- and 30-second PSAs, which Cineplex has aired in all theaters throughout the month of April. The promo has also appeared at the TIFF Bell Lightbox and was also run as a PSA by CBC, Shaw and Bell Media.

“Everybody that’s related either through business or through love to the Canadian film industry is circulating and promoting and sharing and tweeting all of our stuff,” Jack Blum, executive director of Reel Canada, told Playback Daily.

According to Blum, the use of social media has also spread word of the festival beyond the usual industry circles, to places most Canadians might not even know exist.

“Every day I get new kinds of listings on my Google alerts from the library in Flin Flon, [Manitoba] that has put [the promo] up on its website to advertise the [National Film Day] screening,” he said.

In addition to theatrical and community screenings, Bell Media will be airing several Canadian films over its networks. This includes Away From Her, airing on Bravo, The Grand Seduction, airing on The Movie Network and Gabrielle airing on MFun. Other showings include Don Carmody’s Pompeii and Mortal Instruments: City of Bones on The Movie Network and Toronto-shot thriller Mama on Space.

According to Tracey Pearce, SVP of specialty and pay at Bell Media, along with the Canadian content being aired on Bravo, Space and The Movie Network, T-shirts have also been provided for Reel Canada to help promote the initiative.

“National Canadian Film Day is a fantastic initiative that shines a spotlight on the films, that in most cases, we’ve had a hand in bringing to life,” Pearce told Playback Daily.

Also broadcasting Canadian film content today is Hollywood Suite, which will air Canadian films across four channels for the entirety of the day, including C.R.A.Z.Y.Eastern Promises and Fubar.

As of this morning, the initiative’s hashtag #CanFilmDay was trending in third position on Twitter in Canada.