BACK IN TIME
The Atlantic Film Festival has been a cultural mainstay in the Atlantic region for more than 30 years. From humble roots at the iconic LSPU Hall in St. John’s Newfoundland, the Atlantic Film Festival has exponentially broadened its reach to a year-round celebration of everything film-related in our region.
The first Atlantic Film Festival, in 1981, was a simple and small collection of regional filmmakers showcasing their work and networking between themselves. The numbers may have been small but the seeds were sown and the roots had taken hold.
Fast forward to the late 1990s, and a move from St. John’s to Halifax Nova Scotia.
In 1998 the Atlantic Film Festival recognized a significant developmental gap in the Canadian film, television and recently, the multiplatform industry landscape. Canadian producers were traveling all over the globe to look for partners, but there was no dedicated co-production event in Canada, despite our country being one of the most active co-production partners in the world with over 50 co-production treaties in place. Strategic Partners is now recognized as one of the pre-eminent co-production markets in the world. Strategic Partners is Canada's first-ever international co-production conference. Both programs form the base of the Festival's efforts to encourage filmmakers and other professionals from around the world to explore issues relevant to the film and television industry.
In 2001, the Festival started alFresco filmFesto, our outdoor summer film series on the Halifax waterfront. alFresco has captured the attention of the Halifax community becoming one of the most anticipated summer events and drawing hundreds of movie fans for each screening.
In the spring of 2002, the Festival launched the ViewFinders: International Film Festival for Youth. ViewFinders is a five-day celebration of film, video and media geared towards youth ages 3-18. The festival includes a comprehensive school program complete with a guide for educators, as well as evening and weekend screenings and events for families and young adults. ViewFinders features films from around the world and includes a selection of films made by youth.
The name of the festival comes from the part of the camera called the viewfinder which is the optical window that frames an image. It is our hope that the ViewFinders Festival inspires young people to find and broaden their own views of the world through hands-on media workshops, networking with professionals in the industry, and exposure to the large scope of international cinema.
The Atlantic Film Festival continues to grow and evolve and brings a year-round a celebration of film to our communities.