THE ISLAND ‘A UNIQUE RECIPE’
Inaugural Prince Edward Island Film, Food and Ideas Festival provides participants with chance to connect in the theatre, over food and through on-stage talks
Inaugural P.E.I. Fest provides participants with chance to connect in the theatre, over food and through on-stage talks
It’s the day after the 2017 Prince Edward Island Film, Food and Ideas Festival (P.E.I. Fest), and Colin Stanfield is reflecting on the first-ever event that brought filmmakers and audiences together in Charlottetown.
“What was most exciting was that the key idea for the festival seemed to resonate with so many people,” says Stanfield, P.E.I. Fest founder.
“The films really sparked conversation, the filmmakers loved being here. And the many opportunities we provided for people to connect in the theatre, over food, with amazing music and through our on-stage talks, felt like a unique recipe with just the right ingredients,” says Stanfield.
Audience members were taken on an underwater adventure on Saturday night during the screening of “Chasing Coral” at the Florence Simmons Performance Hall.
Filled with breathtaking underwater cinematography of blossoming coral reefs and the creatures that live there, the 93-minute film took theatregoers to new depths in understanding the fragile future of coral at various locations but mainly at the Great Barrier Reef in Australia. “Chasing Coral” is the story of an ad man, a coral nerd and some top-notch camera designers and marine biologists as they event the first time-lapse camera to record bleaching events as they happen.
In the film, a marine biologist shares photographic evidence that 80-90 per cent of the corals in the Florida Keys have been lost over the past 30 years and that worldwide, coral loss is over 50 per cent.
Jamie Redford of the Redford Centre hosted with the event Jeff Orlowski, the director, and the screening concluded with a question and answer session.
On Friday night, a large audience was in attendance for “Bluefin”, a documentary by P.E.I.’s John Hopkins, that explores the baffling mystery of why the normally wary bluefin no longer fear people.
These were two of the 14 screenings that provided food for thought.
“By choosing a small number of highly engaging social issue films and providing lots of opportunity for people to interact with the filmmakers, we were able to establish an environment that encouraged conversation and connection,” says Stanfield.
There were other benefits as well.
“Connection between local filmmakers and those visiting from other parts of Canada and the U.S. resulted in a revitalization and inspiration for local filmmakers as well as providing valuable industry connections,” says Stanfield, who has his fingers crossed for next year.
“Dates for 2018 need to be established and commitments from stakeholders secured.” But he’s feeling optimistic. “The foundation for a significant cultural happening on P.E.I. that brings attention to social issues, shines a light on the incredibly strong community of local filmmakers and drives visitation to the Island has been laid.”
Jamie Redford, left, of the Redford Centre reacts to Jeff Orlowski, director, during a question-and-answer session following the screening of Orlowski’s film, “Chasing Coral” Saturday night at the 2017 Prince Edward Island Film, Food & Ideas Festival in Charlottetown.
Environmental panel members meet after their presentation at the P.E.I. Fest this past weekend. From left are Jamie Redford, Redford Foundation, ‘Chasing Coral’ collaborator, Slater Jewell-Kemker, ‘Inconvenient Youth’, John Hopkins, ‘Bluefin’ director, and Mille Clarkes, director of ‘Island Green’.