Posted Date: Tuesday, August 13, 2013
I had a chance to catch up with EIFF’s festival producer Kerrie Long last week. I pulled her away from the patio party the festival was hosting at Latitude 53 to ask her a few questions about what to expect for this year’s event. Check out our chat below!
Yoni: The official selection just came out. How does this year stack up against years past?
Kerrie: We have a really, really strong line up this year. We have films from about 20 countries. Documentaries, feature films and tons of short films. I think our audience will also be really excited about our Lunch Box Shorts. That’s one of our stronger programs where people come down for 45 minutes of short films during the festival, Monday to Friday, and your admission includes lunch from Subway.
Y: How many films will you be screening this year and how many were submitted?
K: This year we received a record breaking number of submissions. We received over 900, closer to 1000 actually in total. In a typical year, we are looking at 600-700 films that are submitted, so that’s a huge increase for us. We will be programming about 60 feature length and documentaries and about 100 short films.
Y: So with a record breaking number of submissions, what does that mean for EIFF?
K: Well I think a record breaking number of submissions means that film makers are starting to really recognize EIFF as a place to premiere their film. Certainly, the knowledge that they came from so many different countries means that the word is getting out there. So good for us!
Y: How many years has Edmonton had a film festival?
K: This is actually the 27th year of the Edmonton International Film Festival but audiences need to remember that for 18 of those years, the festival was actually called “Local Heroes Film Festival.” That was programmed in March. So now we have moved to the September time slot and rebranded as EIFF.
Y: So what is new this year that hasn’t been around in years past? Entering your 27th year, how do you keep things fresh?
K: It’s actually all about the films that keep our festival fresh and relevant. Year after year, the media ask what is our theme this year. It’s really driven by what films makers are making. For example, a couple of years ago, we saw a lot of mockumentaries were being made. This year, we find a ton of feature films being made that are dramas that have music as a theme to them. So in terms of what’s new, it’s always the films, produced in the last 12 months!
Y: So to those who have never been to the film fest yet and love movies, what would you have to say to them?
K: As a newbie, I would say you need to check out one Lunchbox Shorts. If you are an up and coming film maker, check out the 24 hour film contest. And then go check out at least two feature-length films that aren’t from Hollywood. Lots of our audiences also really enjoy the pre and post-reception parties during the festival. You’ll have an opportunity to meet our special guests and filmmakers at these parties and that’s what’s really unique about our festival. We bring in as many filmmakers as our budget can afford. Typically that’s about 60-80 people.
So there you have it, from the festival producer herself. This year’s festival is setting up to be one of the best. When you get a record number of submissions, you know the quality of the official selection will not be an issue! Don’t forget, #EIFF13 runs from September 26 to October 5 and tickets are on sale now.