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COLUMN: Celebrating Canadian films

Sometimes the library is a great place to go for those wanting to borrow a movie or binge-watch their favourite TV series.

As National Canadian Film Day 150 fast approaches on Wednesday, April 19, it provides a great opportunity to enjoy the best of what Canadian cinema has to offer.

National Canadian Film Day 150 (NCFD 150) is a massive one-day celebration of Canadian cinema in honour of our nation’s sesquicentennial. On April 19, great Canadian movies will be available via broadcast, online and at over 600 screenings in cinemas, public squares and some public libraries, too.

Presented by Reel Canada, an organization that has been introducing Canadian film to high school students and new Canadians since 2005, NCFD 150 is a great way for Canadians of all ages and backgrounds to gather and enjoy the wealth of work by our nation’s storytellers. For more information on events scheduled to celebrate NCFD 150, visit

Screenings in New Glasgow and River John

In the New Glasgow Library on Wednesday, April 19 at 7 p.m., a screening of the Oscar-award winning movie Room (2015) will take place to celebrate NCFD 150.

This film is a Canadian-Irish independent drama written by Emma Donoghue, based on her novel of the same name. It stars Brie Larson as a woman who has been held captive for seven years, and whose five-year-old son Jack was born in captivity. She is constantly nurturing him with warmth and love and doing typical things like playing games and telling stories. Their life, however, is anything but typical as they are confined to a 10-by-10-foot space that she has euphemistically named Room. Jack's curiosity about their situation grows, and as Ma's resilience reaches its breaking point, they enact a risky plan to escape, allowing him to experience the outside world for the first time.

On Thursday, April 20 at 6:15 p.m. in the River John Library, there will be a special NCFD 150 film screening of I've Heard the Mermaids Singing (1987), written and directed by Patricia Rozema and starring Shelia McCarthy, Paule Baillargeon and Ann-Marie MacDonald.

In this film, Polly (the main character) gets a job as a secretary in Gabrielle's art gallery. With aspirations to be a professional photographer, she idolizes Gabrielle’s artistic ability but becomes jealous when Gabrielle rekindles an old romantic relationship with a younger painter Mary. Polly eventually discovers Gabrielle is not who she claims to be.

Other items to watch with a Canadian connection

We also have the Canadian-filmed Orphan Black TV series on DVD.  Orphan Black follows outsider, orphan and street-wise chameleon Sarah (played by Tatiana Maslany).

After witnessing a woman's suicide, Sarah assumes the stranger's identity, which happens to look just like her.

Another DVD we have that might be of interest is Relative Happiness (based on the Lesley Crewe book also available to borrow), directed by Deanne Foley and starring Melissa Bergland as the main character Lexie Ivy.

The book and movie centres around Lexie, who is a feisty, self-proclaimed curvy, 30-year-old bed and breakfast owner desperately in need of a date to her sister’s wedding. The rest? Well…you’ll have to read and/or watch to find out!

For more information on upcoming library programs, special events and services, please drop by your local library branch, follow us on Twitter, find us on Facebook, or visit us online at


Holly MacLean is the community outreach assistant for Pictou County.


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