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3rd EU Short Film Festival
Tuesday, 24 May 2016
Want a free trip around Europe full of great food and experiencing the art and culture of many countries? (Don’t we all.) Sorry, we can’t send you to Europe, but we are once again pleased to present Europe to Ottawa with the 3rd European Union Short Film Festival.

For three nights this week, you can join us at Arts Court Theatre & Studio (2 Daly Ave., 2nd Floor) for a Tastes of Europe reception at 6:30pm, followed by a showcase screening of European short films at 7:00pm. Did we mention it was free? Yes, even the food. And if you missed this event last year when it was so popular that we ran out of seats, don't worry: Arts Court Theatre & Studio will have plenty of space.

Join us Thursday, Friday, and Saturday (May 26-28) to see the entire menu we’ve put together from both prominent and emerging filmmakers. Get a taste of a variety of short film styles — drama, documentary, comedy, animation. We're serving them all up over three delicious themed evenings. (See what we did there?) (Because there will be food.) (Really tasty traditional European food.)

The full festival line-up can be found via the links below and on our website. Pick your favourite night, but come for all three. And while you could practice your European languages to prepare, all films will be presented with English subtitles.

See you there!
A Return to Canadian Independent Cinema
Thursday, 19 May 2016
We've been busy showing off so much of the world's cinema lately, it's probably time to return to our roots — with The Enlightened Screen. This latest installment of the ongoing film and guest artist series features two very talented Canadian filmmakers, Alan Zweig and Wiebke von Carolsfeld.

On Wednesday, May 25th at 7:00pm, acclaimed Canadian documentary filmmaker Alan Zweig will present his film HURT (2015), which profiles one-time Canadian national hero Steve Fonyo. Fonyo's rise to fame — and fall from grace — is a remarkable story and Zweig has beautifully captured a portrait of a man who has much to tell. Alan Zweig, an award-winning filmmaker known for often using film to explore his own life, will be in attendance to introduce and discuss HURT in a post-film Q+A session.

Then, on Tuesday, May 31st at 7:00pm, we welcome film director and editor Wiebke von Carolsfeld to present her newest film THE SAVER (2016). Carolsfeld, whose directorial debut MARION BRIDGE (2002) won Best First Feature at TIFF, and was recently in Ottawa to present her film STAY (2013) at the Irish Film Festival, will be back to discuss her experience in filming THE SAVER and her insight as an editor.

But wait! We're in a new venue for The Enlightened Screen — join us each night at Arts Court Theatre, 2 Daly Ave., 2nd Floor. (If you attended our Bright Nights Launch Party, you know the place.) Tickets will be sold at the door each night: $13 (general admission) or $9 (members, seniors, students). Find more information about the films and filmmakers — and other upcoming events such as the 3rd European Union Short Film Festival and the 13th Israeli Film Festivalin our Now Showing section.

We're really looking forward to sharing these incredible films (and filmmakers) with you. Enjoy!
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.

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