Travel buffs, get ready to join the Global Tourism Film Festival (GTFF) this weekend for an international film festival hosted by Canadore College and the city of North Bay.
The four-day event features everything for both travellers and cinephiles – world premieres of international films, seminars with keynote speakers, industry panels, creative workshops and networking opportunities with travel representatives.
The goal of the festival is to pique the viewer's interest – and gain a wider appreciation – of exotic locales.
Renata Snidr, GTFF director, says over 30 international films will be screening this weekend at Canadore – including short films, documentaries and feature-length movies.
“It's a wonderful way to go and discover the world around you,” Snidr said. “All of these fascinating films show remarkable, picturesque destinations that you might not be familiar with.”
Those include international films with a lot of buzz, including Kumari, an Indian story about a young girl who starts experiencing dark visions while slowly uncovering an ancient curse and her husband's dangerous family secret.
Another film that film buffs are anticipating is Tears of Perspephone, directed by Japan’s Teppei Isobe and Yasuaki Genda. In the story, a young man receives a mysterious ring to use for debt repayments. But from there, he’s pulled into a world where reality and fantasy are blurred.
Also represented are cinematic works from France, Egypt and Spain.
“It’s a wonderful selection of films that captures the myths, the legends, the cultures, and the wonderful geography of the destinations,” Snidr said.
“Seeing these stories on the big screen really gives you insight into different cultures, as well.”
Indigenous films are also represented at the festival, including the riveting adaptation of Eden Robinson’s Monkey Beach, which was awarded the TIFF Industry Selects honour.
Monkey Beach is the story of a young Haisla woman with clairvoyant abilities, who returns to her hometown of Kitamaat and tries to come to terms with the fact that her brother has gone missing at sea.
Creative types will also enjoy attending the GTFF event, as the festival features several industry panels and seminars about marketing, directing and producing films across international destinations.
Travellers, or people hoping to learn more about different cultures, will also enjoy scheduled information sessions, as representatives from GTFF’s tourism partners will be connecting with film attendees to spur even more interest in the exotic destinations.
“They'll be talking about those countries and the various activities one can do and destinations to see if they’re visiting those countries, also share great tips for what to immerse yourself in,” Snidr said. “So you can not only be inspired by the films that you see, but you can actually go and talk to the foremost experts.”
“You’ll not only be inspired by the films, but you’ll learn how to plan your trip, pack your bags and go.”
At the end of it all, though, Snidr said she hopes film lovers also gain a new appreciation for the wider world around them, and help bring more exposure of these destinations to the community of North Bay.
“The underlying message, outside of seeing these wonderful cultures and the destinations, is uniting people, showing that we’re all part of a shared culture,” Snidr said.
To see the GTFF schedule, click here.
To reserve tickets to the festival, including the Thursday night opening gala, click here.