A documentary on the pulp mill; historical fiction dramatization of the Westray experience; a Celtic Christmas tale; an animated children's fable, experimental art films with live soundtracks played open air by local and visiting artists.
These are just some of the job creation possibilities and cultural inspiration that can be part of New Glasgow's future Drive-In Film Festival. A rousing response, an inclusive, shared intimate event is cinema that balks at our world of crouching low over singular screens. The gaze upward together into the magic and hope and wild possibilities that cinema offers is one that must not be extinguished.
When brave local businesses discover that real wellness arises from happy hearts and minds, stimulated, inspired and provoked to be the best by creativity and exposure to it, then they will invest in the preservation of the Westville Drive-In for the following reasons:
The drive-in we have is the ONLY one still open in the entire province. It is next to the main thoroughfare for visitors.
It provides an unparalleled cinema experience that can be maximized in the following ways:
Access for disabled otherwise hindered by the access to regular cinemas
The REAL big screen – bigger than big screen experience for which movies have been photographed and created
Recent news coverage has already highlighted the family and inclusive opportunities.
There is more and we can do it.
Festivals like the Percéides (http://www.perceides.ca/2008/fr/) in Gaspé are re-igniting communities with the power of art appreciated and shared – an intense two-day summer outdoor and multi-venue celebration of the seventh art.
We can do it here.
I have been studying, teaching and making films for 20 years. I've been to the grandaddy of short film fests in France "Clermont Ferrand" (an otherwise grim, cold, industrial French town that not many people would go to), I was inspired to make my first film seeing incredible art at the Montreal Festival of Nouveau Media. After making 15-plus of my own short Cinema Poem works while teaching the art of film, film history and even creative arts and technology, I recently represented Canada at the Video Poetry festival in Buenos Aires last fall. Currently I am making a film based on the human evocation of Nova Scotia birds.
We can as a community graced with nature's big screen, invite the world back to look at the big picture. It will take courage and cash. No more free art, volunteers taxed by the "fun" of doing creative work. No more hidden exclusive house parties, but artists treated like professionals and sharing their professionalism with plumbers, farmers, lawyers, shopkeepers, accountants and doctors.
Open air events like giant cinema classics with local musicians playing the soundtrack. Invited artists to create work for the screen and challenge local youth to do the same. And of course just regular high-octane blockbuster summer movies to entertain and delight children and adults.
The Cinema Poetry I am so serious about is actually the foundation of these mainstream movies.
I'd love to run the Westville World Screen Drive-in and provide opportunities for a cultural base that could employ local artists as well as those technically and practically inclined who are the lifeblood of any successful creative venture.
I challenge local law firms who might sponsor a "Law & Order" film weekend of legal classics, I challenge the local farmers who might sponsor a look at nature in classics like High Noon and A River Runs Through it, I challenge Sobey's to retain the essence of their historical interest in film and sponsor a "nourishing food festival of films that feed the feelings and fire the foundations."
I challenge New Glasgow to sponsor a yearly youth film competition for best local documentary on a regional issue. I challenge the Community College to sponsor workshops with local and imported talent.
Let's keep the lights on here. While other drive-ins are listed as Dark we can give them hope for renewal by keeping our lights on!
This time next year we could be enjoying The News coverage of visiting artists, rare and exciting screenings and extra showings of family favourites to stimulate summer's rejuvenation of body and soul. Imagine what we could do with the right drive!
Submitted by Eliza Fernbach of Merigomish