Opening reception at the inaugural Maple Ridge Festival of B.C. Film earlier this year. (THE NEWS/files)

Call for submissions for B.C. Film Fest 2018

The call is out for submissions for the second annual Maple Ridge Festival of B.C. Film.

The Maple Ridge Festival of B.C. Film has a call out for submissions this year.

Last year for the inaugural event a committee chose films that were interesting to them going back three to four years.

This year submissions will be accepted in five different categories and must have been completed in 2016 and 2017 with an all B.C. cast and crew.

Directors who were residents of B.C. at the time of the film creation will also be accepted.

“There is such a plethora of choices truly. So we wanted to put it back to the film makers themselves, to get to know our film festival,” explained Karen Pighin, communications and development manager at The ACT Arts Centre, where the festival is held.

Categories will include environmental, documentary, comedy, drama and female directed film of any genre.

That final category is an important one noted Pighin.

“I think in general the film industry has spoken and said that there needs to be more female representatives as directors and producers. It is highlighting that and making sure they are recognized,” she said.

Six feature films and six shorts will be chosen from the submissions.

This is the same amount of movies shown at last year’s festival, but Pighin says, it’s about building awareness.

“It’s a decent sized festival already. I don’t know if we necessarily need to always add more. Try to build what you have I think is a really important piece,” she said.

She is hoping to grow the festival in the future by having more youth involvement and more mentorship programs with panels.

“It is a great opportunity to network as well,” Pighin said.

“It’s a great opportunity to be in front of actors, directors, producers and actually ask them the questions that you have always wanted to ask,” she said about the busy industry.

Pighin also noted that fans don’t have to drive all the way to Vancouver to see great films and they are not hundreds and hundreds deep to get a question asked.

“(It’s) a little more personal connection. If you come to the opening reception, it was incredibly well received last year, it’s a really great way to meet local community members, different businesses, as well as your filmmakers,” Pighin added.

Last years Audience Choice winner for best short was the 2014 film called The Timekeeper directed by Scott Weber and starring Tom McBeath, Nathan Dashwood and Tammy Gillis. Winner for best feature was the 2015 film called Into the Forest directed by Patricia Rozema and starring Ellen Page, Evan Rachel Wood and Max Minghella.

The second annual Maple Ridge Festival of B.C. Film is being held March 23-25 at The ACT Arts Centre, 11944 Haney Place in Maple Ridge.

It is being organized by The ACT Arts Centre in partnership with the Ridge Film Studios with the support of the City of Maple Ridge.

The deadline for submissions is Oct. 1.

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