One week today, will mark the 5th annual "National Canadian Film Day", so I caught up with Hamilton Film Festival's Nathan Fleet to find out how the city intends on celebrating and the importance of supporting the Canadian film industry. Check out our interview below:
How has the Canadian film industry evolved in the last year?
There has been a massive spotlight on indigenous and female filmmakers, and this is definitely a good thing. We are experiencing new voices, new stories and that is really the best way to move cinema forward. Our NCFD selections are feature films written and directed by female filmmakers.
What is the significance of Hamilton’s role in the industry?
Hamilton is still, in some ways, a hidden gem. Toronto’s massive film industry benefits from their proximity to Hamilton, which is primarily used for it’s location resources. With the increase in productions, many of these cast / crew see value in moving to Hamilton. As far as the film festival goes, we are bringing in some incredible guests that would never venture here without HFF attached to it. We have also increased opportunities to pitch and sell movies, something you used to have to go to Toronto to do. We’ve spent over a decade trying to prove ourselves and, finally, heads are turning our way. Because of this, our Lights Camera Hamilton initiative has increased business and awareness of the local film industry. I also still field many calls when someone wants to film here or set up shop. I also got invited to a private dinner a while back with Guillermo Del Toro, but that’s another story.
Why should we celebrate Canadian Film Day and support local filmmakers?
We need to show people that Canadian cinema is truly amazing. These aren’t the “that looks so Canadian” content that we had experienced 20 years ago.
Cast, Crew, technology and most important…the stories, are top notch. We (Canadian’s) have our own stories and identity and it's right there, every year, on our screens! We are super proud to put a spotlight on that. To date, we’ve screened over 600 Canadian films and I promise, that number will grow!
For more on National Canadian Film Day, click here.