The 18th annual Silver Wave Film Festival brings the best in New Brunswick film to the screen over four days of programming.
In Fredericton, many of us mark the time of year not by a date on a calendar but instead, by the next event on the horizon. We start the year with Shivering Songs; spring means it’s time for the Flourish Festival; and the summer, well, that’s almost like one long festival slowly building towards its climax with Harvest. And when it comes to the fall season, that means it’s time for another edition of the Silver Wave Film Festival.
Now in its 18th year, Fredericton’s annual celebration of film is so much more than just a city event. It’s regional. It’s provincial. It’s national. And if you consider the fact that this year’s lineup includes films from the United States and Iran, SWFF could also be considered international in its scope. For New Brunswick filmmakers (amateur, emerging and professional) as well as those involved in the industry, SWFF is THE event of the year.
This year’s festival features more than 40 made in New Brunswick films spanning shorts, documentaries and full-length feature films. There are also dozens of films from around the region and the country. But we wear our love for New Brunswick for all to see and with that in mind, we picked five NB films we consider to be must-sees.
Grid City Magazine’s 5 Film Recommendations:
We Are Characters Inc. (Kirk Pennell/Christine McLean)
We are Characters Incorporated is a one-off documentary that nostalgically looks back at a song and dance troupe started by a dedicated teacher at a junior high school in Fredericton in the 1990s.
We are Characters Incorporated toured the world and shaped the lives of hundreds of Maritime kids. Shot and narrated by former troupe member, Kirk Pennell, it celebrates the extraordinary contribution of New Brunswick educator, Philip Sexsmith, and catches up with notable former members who have gone on to live creative lives inside and outside the world of music, song and dance.
November 11 | 2 p.m. | Charlotte Street Arts Centre
The Capital Project (Raynemaker Productions)
The Capital Project is a feature – length documentary about the inner workings of an eclectic local music scene, that examines the relationship between music, the artist, and the community.
The project was inspired by the music scene that has been taking place in the City of Fredericton over the last few years. Fredericton is the small Capital city of New Brunswick, one of Canada’s smallest provinces. Although small in population the city is rich in musical talent across a wide range of genres including rock, punk, hip-hop, metal, country, pop, jazz, classical, and everything in-between.
The documentary introduces the audiences to the city and the people in and around the music scene, and explores ideas of how it came to be and how it is shaped and influenced, particularly the roles of mentorship, venues, relationship-building, support networks, and rise of DYI culture with the means of production becoming more accessible. The documentary also explores other threads such as the importance of music education in schools, and the impact of local music on the cultural and local economies. While the lens of the documentary is local, it is a microcosm of a much larger global phenomenon.
November 11 | 7 p.m. | Tilley Hall, UNB Campus
Last in League (Gretchen Kelbaugh)
No wins. No sponsors. No luck for the Lucky Puckers. A comedy about 3 memorable hockey players, desperate to save their last-place team.
The average age on the team is 55. They have one fan. When they lose 6-1, they celebrate a close game. They come to practice forgetting to bring pucks, shin guards … maybe their skates. If they forget to pee right before practice, they may pee during. And when they take a few shots before the game, they mean the liquid variety.
November 11 | 12 p.m. | Tilley Hall, UNB Campus
Letters From The Dead (Arianna Martinez)
After the death of her grandmother, Abigail finds that she is still able to communicate with her through handwritten letters.
Director Arianna Martinez has been heavily involved in film for the past few years working in all aspects of the filmmaking process including roles as director, writer, production designer, actor, producer, art director and many other key roles within the industry. As one of three artists behind the Fredericton-based film company Strike Pictures, Arianna is helping lead the next generation of New Brunswick filmmakers.
November 10 | 7 p.m. | le Centre communautaire Sainte-Anne
Secretariat’s Jockey, Ron Turcotte (Phil Comeau)
This feature-length documentary tells the story of jockey Ron Turcotte, who, along with his legendary horse Secretariat, won the prestigious American Triple Crown in 1973. Follow along as we witness Turcotte’s rise to fame, the fall in 1978 that left him a paraplegic and his emotional journey back to the people and places that marked his life. This is a road movie that delves deep into the thrilling and dangerous world of horseracing, featuring never-before-seen footage of Secretariat and appearances by Triple Crown winners Steve Cauthen and Jean Cruguet.
November 10 | 2 p.m. | Tilley Hall, UNB Campus
The Silver Wave Film Festival runs Nov. 8-11. Learn more at swfilmfest.com