- The Chilliwack Independent Film Festival will begin this week, nearly two months later than expected.
- Following the in-person screenings, from January 17 to 30, a digital festival will be held, allowing ticket holders to watch the entire festival online from the comfort of their own homes.
The Chilliwack Independent Film Festival will kick off this week, almost two months after originally planned.
The event had to be delayed due to the devastating floods that hit the Fraser Valley in mid-November.
As per festival director Taras Groves, the flooding directly impacted some of the festival’s volunteers and cut Chilliwack off both Metro Vancouver and the Interior, making the event impossible to continue.
Groves told CTV News, “We’re essentially a destination festival.” “We typically get 50% of our tickets from outside of Chilliwack.”
He stated that he was fortunate not to have been harmed by the flooding.
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Groves said, “Water came right up to our doors.” “It was a strange and frightening experience.”
The festival’s in-person portion starts on Friday, January 14. Organizers will show 40 films at the Cottonwood Cinema in Chilliwack over three days in ten screening blocks. Because of the current COVID-19 rules in B.C., attendance is limited to 50% capacity.
Following the in-person screenings, a digital festival will run from January 17 to 30, allowing ticket holders to watch the entire festival online from the comfort of their own homes.
Half of all ticket sales will be donated to flood relief efforts, both in-person and online.
According to Groves, the organizers did not doubt that donating the proceeds was right.
He said of the flooding, “I think it puts things in perspective, you know?”
“Being a nonprofit and trying to run a film festival is a stressful situation. All of it is done entirely by volunteers. We give our time freely. But then something like flooding happens, and you’re brought back to earth. It makes you want to give back to the community after they’ve gone out of their way to help us.”
Ticket sales are usually one of the festival’s main sources of revenue, but Groves said he isn’t concerned about the lower revenue this year.
“We’ll deal with it,” he said. “It isn’t about the money. It’s about giving artists a platform to tell their stories and, of course, bringing stories and moviemakers to Chilliwack.”