Local celebrations for Canadian Film Day


By Kate Jackman-Atkinson

The Neepawa Banner

Canada has a rich history of film excellence and this month, area residents will have the chance to see some of these movies, free of charge. Presented by REEL Canada, National Canadian Film Day is an event which helps secure the rights for community groups to show Canadian films at no charge on one day only, April 19, 2017. 

While the event has been held for a few years, for 2017, the group aimed to make this year’s Canadian Film Day bigger and better than ever, in honour of Canada’s 150th anniversary.  It has been designated a Signature 150 Project and will be the world’s largest film festival, with more than 1,700 screenings of Canadian films taking place across the country and even around the world. 

Locally, many groups are participating, offering a variety of free screenings to celebrate community and Canadian film.  In Neepawa, The Neepawa Public Library will be showing Room at 1:30 p.m. Room was the winner of the Best Actress Oscar for Brie Larson and nominated for four Academy Awards in total. It’s an adaptation of Emma Donoghue’s best-selling novel, which follows a young mother and her son as they make an escape after years of captivity. At 7:30, the Neepawa Roxy Theatre will be showing One Week. The film follows Ben Tyler (Joshua Jackson), a young guy with a comfortable life, a good job as an English teacher and a sensible fiancée. When his doctor unexpectedly tells him he has cancer and “maybe two years, maybe one week” to live, instead of starting treatment, he decides to buy a motorcycle and head out west. It’s a classic road trip movie featuring lots of Canadian icons, and a few Manitoba sights, as Ben journeys from Toronto to Tofino. 

In Carberry, the  Carberry/North Cypress Langford Library is presenting Inside Hana’s Suitcase, at 7:00 pm. The poignant documentary is based on the internationally acclaimed book Hana’s Suitcase, which tells the tale of George and Hana Brady, two young children who grew up in pre-WWII Czechoslovakia and the terrible hardships they endured because they were Jewish. When Fumiko Ishioka, a teacher in Japan, requests artifacts from a Holocaust museum to illustrate the history of WWII to her students, one item she receives is a suitcase labelled “Hana Brady.” As she and her students unravel Hana’s story, the film seamlessly transports audiences through 70 years of history, back and forth across three continents.

In Erickson, the library will be presenting three animated shorts, starting at 3:30 pm.  The afternoon will kick off with The Sweater, an animated short based on bestselling author Roch Carrier story of the most mortifying moment of his childhood. At a time when all his friends worshipped Maurice "Rocket" Richard and wore his number 9 Canadiens hockey jersey, the boy was mistakenly sent a Toronto Maple Leafs jersey from Eaton's. Unable to convince his mother to send it back, he must face his friends wearing the colours of the opposing team. This short is an NFB classic that appeals to hockey lovers of all ages. The second film, The Cat Came Back, in an Oscar-nominated short about a humorous song that tells the silly tale of a man who just can't get rid of an unwanted cat. The final film is Runaway, in which gleeful train passengers cavort to a jaunty jazz score in this fun animation, but when their driver disappears, the careless ride turns darkly funny. 

Later in the evening in Wasagaming, Lakehouse will present Fubar, at 7 p.m. This hilarious mockumentary is based on the lives of lifelong friends and headbangers Terry and Dean, who’ve devoted their lives to the important arts of beer, heavy metal, and, well, breaking stuff. These two mullet-sporting, beer-chugging Alberta-based headbangers are the subject of a fictional documentary by Ferral Mitchner, a filmmaker who follows Terry and Dean as they explore the depths of their friendship through a series of unexpected twists and turns. A fun, hilarious, and unforgettable trip into the minds of two of Canada’s most beloved comic rogues.


Correction: An earlier version of the story said that there would be a showing of Anne of Green Gables at Wasagaming, unfortunately, that information was incorrect.  There will be now showing.