Celebrating Film During the Atlin Arts and Music Festival

There’s going to be a new projector at the Globe Theatre this year when the Available Light Film Festival (ALFF) takes its films to the Atlin Arts and Music Festival.

Andrew Connors, artistic director of ALFF, says this will give a sharper image than previous years, but he notes that no showing at the Globe is a bad showing.

“It’s just a treat to be in there and to turn it into a surround sound cinema,” he says. “It’s such a beautiful venue – and an intimate venue.”

For the eighth year, ALFF (which takes place in Whitehorse in February) will host selected screenings as part of Atlin.

In fact, films will kick off the weekend on Thursday July 6, when ALFF hosts a screening of the 1932 revenge-drama movie, Freaks.

The film, which Connors only recently saw for the first time, focuses on a group of circus sideshow performers – played by real sideshow performers of the time – and what they do when they find out a stunning trapeze artist is marrying one of the “freaks” for his inheritance.

The film will have a live score (Connors calls it “structured improvisation”) performed by The Sputnik Experiment.

On Friday, July 7, there will be a handful of short documentaries from the Dawson City International Short Film Festival.

Connors is also excited for the Bruce McDonald film Weirdos, and for Saturday’s screening of Journeys to Adäka, which is about the Adäka Cultural festival in Whitehorse, and producer Teresa Earle will be in attendance for a Q&A.

Later that same day, director Marie Clements will be onsite to answer questions after the screening of her 2017 film, The Road Forward. The musical documentary chronicles the beginnings of Indigenous Nationalism in the 1930s, and connects it with contemporary First Nations activism today.

Filmmakers will also be in attendance for Saturday’s “New Territory” event, showcasing shorts from across the Yukon. These include Underdog, about musher Yuka Honda; Ice Flow, about a couple on the Klondike River; Second Nature: Feral, about an abandoned house falling to the elements; The Old Crow Solar Project, about the Vuntut Gwitchin Government’s initiative to bring solar energy to the Yukon’s most northern community; and Pictures Don’t Lie, where the late JJ Van Bibber, a Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in elder, tells the story of his life.

“Those screenings are an opportunity for us to put the work of Yukon filmmakers and northern filmmakers in front of an audience that wouldn’t normally be exposed to it, because there’s a lot of visitors from outside the Yukon who go to that festival and even if they come through Whitehorse they don’t get the chance to see that work,” says Connors.

As far as non-homegrown offerings, ALFF will show the 2015 film Manifesto, which is an avant garde art film starring Cate Blanchett, that, Connors says, is not straightforward in its narrative.

“It’s an arts festival and this is a pretty challenging film,” he says. “It’s good to throw a bit of madness in there and shake people up and get them thinking.

“And Cate Blanchett is an incredible actor. In this, she plays 13 characters, and she’s unrecognizable in a few of them, so that’s why it stood out for me.”

For more information and a complete schedule go to YukonFilmSociety.com

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