Early bird passes are now on sale for the 19th annual ReFrame Film Festival, running from January 26 to February 3, 2023.
An international documentary film festival focused on social and environmental justice, ReFrame is returning as a virtual festival again in 2023, although some limited in-person events are being planned — including an opening reception and film screening at Showplace Performance Centre in downtown Peterborough.
Also announced during a virtual media event on Friday (November 18), hosted by ReFrame’s creative director Amy Siegel, was a $44,600 Community Building Fund grant for the 2021-22 festival season from the Ontario Trillium Foundation, an agency of the Government of Ontario that provides time-limited grants to not-for-profit charitable organizations in Ontario.
“We have one of the best film festivals all across Ontario for a community of our size,” said Peterborough-Kawartha MPP Dave Smith when announcing the grant. “The ReFrame festival is a celebration of a lot of independent small film producers. There have been a number of films I have seen at it that have tweaked my interest and, more than anything else, it tweaks your mind to think about things and to look at it from a different perspective.”
The $44,600 grant enabled ReFrame to maintain its operational viability and present a virtual film festival during the pandemic.
“Last year you put together a compelling case for how a $44,600 grant would affect your capacity to keep people connected through film,” said Ben Currelly, a volunteer with the Ontario Trillium Foundation’s grant review team. “I understand your grant helped you bring on additional staff so that online and hybrid programming could be done, is also being used to help with rental costs, and purchase cleaning materials and N95 masks as well.”
Festival board chair Jim Hendry explained why ReFrame is again returning as a mainly virtual festival in 2023.
“There’s a definite upside to a virtual film festival,” Hendry said. “We’re very pleased that we are going to be able to offer on-demand screening of more than 50 films. ReFrame’s virtual theatre is convenient, it’s accessible, and it’s available all across Canada, and it keeps our community safe.”
“We had originally planned a combined live and virtual festival this year but for a number of reasons, including concerns that COVID is not done with us yet, we made a decision to again be primarily virtual. However, we will be hosting limited in-person events, including a special opening night screening and reception at Showplace Performance Centre on January 26th.”
Hendry added the festival will also be hosting interviews, panel discussions, Q&As, and special events, although these will also be primarily virtual.
“Our plan is to return to a full festival of live in-theatre screenings when we celebrate the 20th anniversary of ReFrame in January 2024,” Hendry said.
Festival director Kait Dueck, who took over the role from Jay Adam in October, thanked the Ontario Trillium Foundation for its support of last year’s festival.
“The ReFrame Film Festival simply would not have been been possible during the pandemic without the generous support of the Ontario Trillium Foundation,” Dueck said, before announcing the availability of discounted early bird passes for the virtual festival.
“We are releasing our popular early bird virtual festival passes today,” Dueck said, noting they make great holiday gifts. “These passes give our audiences streaming access to our entire 2023 catalogue of curated virtual films.”
The passes cost $65 per person, or $85 for a household, and are available while supplies last at reframefilmfestival.ca.
Dueck also revealed the festival’s 2023 creative design, with a playful poster by Peterborough-based artist Casandra Lee.