Lights, cameras and features are ready as STOPPED is now activated!
The Okotoks International Film Festival (OFF) kicks off in 2022 and is set to take place the first week of June for its 6th year celebrating cinema.
Festival Director Katie Fournell is proud to present over 60 films at Okotoks Cinemas.
“We want everyone to be able to enjoy the festival,” says Fournell. “We have very family screenings. We have a movie called Jim Button In The Wild 13, which is an adventure family film that comes from Germany and will be screened on June 5th at 12:30 p.m., and on the other hand, we have our Twisted Reels package. It’s June 3 at 10 p.m. online and this one, don’t let the kids watch. Take them far, far away.
Among these films, more than 20 are made locally or made by local residents, including the opening feature of the festival on Thursday evening.
“It’s called 179. It’s done by a director right here in Okotoks about a family in Calgary and it’s a documentary. It’s one of the most powerful documentaries I’ve seen in a very long time. It will rip your heart out, then give it back and make you want to change the world.
“It’s the story of a family that went through absolute tragedy and how they turned that into something really beautiful and made sure that that exact thing didn’t happen to other people. is an absolutely beautiful film.”
The festival is divided into several days and sections with feature films, short films, cartoons and documentaries all have their place in the festival. As well as a special selection of all German productions.
New this year is the Lunch Break selection (Friday June 3 at noon). A one-hour screening that features a selection of uplifting and funny films plus lunch plus the Zooom Youth Festival (Sunday, June 5 at 3 p.m.) Previously held separately from the main international event, it has been included this year to ensure that young filmmakers are among the greatest films selected for the Festival.
She adds a few reasons why festivals are a nice break from big-budget box office movies in theaters.
“A lot of independent filmmakers and individual filmmakers make films that really speak to their hearts and convey a message that’s very important to them, so you’ll get some that have very deep meanings and then also films that just have a beautiful style that you can’t otherwise achieve with the big box office… Plus the level of creativity, when working on a budget, is insane.
“When you have $10 million you can do anything, you can involve anyone, but having to work with just $500 to tell a story really makes you think every moment of that story.”
There is also an online component with a collection of films that will not be screened at the live event as well as an “In case you missed it” section available after the festival ends.
The Okotoks International Film Festival begins Thursday, June 2 at 7 p.m. and will continue until June 5 with the screening of the popular 48 Hour Film Challenge closing the festival.
Tickets are available on their website.