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Recent News
Our Journey to Carleton
Wednesday, 11 May 2016
Dear CFI Supporters,

Some people have been asking: why has the CFI moved much of its programming to the River Building Theatre at Carleton University? An explanation is likely overdue.

The answer is simple: as of 1 January 2015, fees charged to rent and use the facilities at 395 Wellington Street totaled close to $2,300.00 per evening. What was free for us for many years as programming partners of the LAC became completely unsustainable — multiply that cost by 18 days for our EU Film Festival, for example. Even more recently, costs have risen an additional 50% in order to present a film screening at the LAC Auditorium.

Our small, non-profit, non-governmental organization cannot possibly cover these fees, so we had no choice but to re-locate. All questions regarding these fees should be directed to Public Works and Government Services Canada officials. Having been there screening films since 1969, it was a difficult situation for us, but utterly impossible to sustain ourselves there given the increased costs. To quote the great Canadian film by Bruce McDonald, Hard Core Logo (1996), it was either "move or die."

That said, we are thrilled to be in a modern new venue with state-of-the-art sound and image technology far superior to our old home. Also, the fact that Carleton University has a Film Studies department makes our presence on campus appropriate, as a major part of the Canadian Film Institute mandate is pubic education about the moving image.

The Canadian Film Institute relies on your continued support to make our public programming activities happen, so we hope you will make the journey to the beautiful and technically superior River Building Theatre, 43 Campus Avenue, Carleton University. For those who haven't yet visited, we promise that it is worth the new journey.

Bon cinema!

Tom McSorley
Executive Director
Canadian Film Institute

P.S.: You can find more info about the Auditorium hand-off from Library and Archives to Public Works in this archived Ottawa Citizen article from 2011.
20 Years Later, Still Celebrating Latin American Cinema in Ottawa
Sunday, 24 April 2016
Our Latin American Film Festival (LAFF) is back, once again bringing Ottawa audiences the best that Latin American filmmakers and artists have to offer. Together with our friends of GRULA — the group of Latin American Ambassadors in Ottawa — we at the Canadian Film Institute are bringing 18 films to the silver screen at Carleton University's River Building Theatre over almost three weeks, from April 27 to May 14.

Whether you choose your films by country, by genre, or by topic, we have all the info you need to plan your festival experience. Listed on the official Festival page is the full line-up of films, with links to synopses, trailers (and IMDb listings, if that's your thing): award winners, first-time filmmakers, comedies, drama, documentary. It's all there.

We have more films! We always want to show more films.

Our special sidebar program South ⟷ North: Cinema Across Borders returns with three amazing, important films dealing with cross-border topics, as well as a free discussion panel hosted by Carleton University's Latin American and Caribbean Studies. South ⟷ North takes place every Saturday during the festival.

Plus, if you missed the international hit film EMBRACE OF THE SERPENT (Colombia, 2015) at the ByTowne, then our special screening on May 4th may be your last chance to see this breath-taking Oscar-nominated film on the big screen.

Are you a CFI Member? Or 65 years or older? A student? Then just show your ID and buy your ticket to any single film for $9. Not any of those things? Tickets are $13 each. Carleton student or staff? FREE! Just show that fancy Carleton ID card at the door.

Tickets, Memberships, 5-Film Passports ($40, CFI Members only), and All-Access Festival Passes ($150, everyone) — you can buy them all at the door, or skip the line-up and purchase tickets in advance via Snap Up Tickets.

Take the O-Train, OCTranspo bus (#7 or #1), bike along the Rideau Canal, or enjoy our special parking prices exclusive for LAFF patrons! Save $3 off parking Mondays through Friday evenings: simply pull up to  Parking Garage P-9  on campus and park all evening for $5 (cash only), then stroll on over to the River Building Theatre, right across the street.

Remember: it has to be  P-9 , and has to be in cash, otherwise regular pricing will apply.

Saturday and Sunday parking is also flat rate, and available for $4 at all pay-and-display lots on campus.

No problem. Call our office at 613-232-6727, send us an email at This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it , or explore the website for answers to most of your questions.

It's all thanks to the generosity of our sponsors, suppliers, volunteers, staff, and good friends at the Latin American Embassies over the last two decades. We're a non-profit, charitable organization and depend on all the support and warm fuzzies everyone provides. By attending this year's festival, you're helping support the 21st edition in 2017. So, thank you.

Café Ex: 18th Season Comes to a Close
Tuesday, 05 April 2016
Come out on Thursday to help us end our Café Ex season in style. Known for his imaginative combination of documentary, drama, experimental and animation film, Deco Dawson’s eclectic films will capture you.

Never been to Café Ex? You're in for a treat; award-winner and Canadian filmmaker, Deco Dawson — visiting all the way from Winnipeg — will move you with stories of hopelessness and vulnerability. Yes, you may need a drink, so get yourself one or two, and absorb yourself in these incredible films. If you’re curious at all, ask Deco Dawson any questions that come to mind. It’s also the last night of the eighteenth season of this intimate and interactive Canadian filmmaker series. Come by and hang out at Club SAW, 67 Nicholas St. on April 7th at 7:00pm, and experience some moving image art with us.

Admission is "pay-what-you-can". More info about the event can be found HERE. Hope you can make it!
GG Award-Winning Hoffman Celebrated with Screening
Tuesday, 22 March 2016
Philip Hoffman, acclaimed filmmaker and good friend of the Canadian Film Institute, has recently been announced as one of the recipients of the Governor General's Awards in Visual and Media Arts. To celebrate this incredible achievement, we've teamed up with Canada Council for the Arts, with support from Independent Filmmakers Co-operative of Ottawa (IFCO), to present a special screening of some of Hoffman's most iconic works.

Philip Hoffman is a reoccurring guest at our Café Ex visiting artist series, but if you haven't seen his work yet, then it would be a good idea to come by Arts Court Theatre (2 Daly Ave.) at 7pm TONIGHT, Tuesday, March 22. Hoffman will here to present a selection of his incredible films on 16mm.

Oh, and did we mention that the event is FREE? (Well, it is.)

Stick around after the show for a Q+A session with Hoffman and learn what makes a national award-winning artist tick. More info can be found on the event page here... or just come by and be surprised.
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