The Smithers Alternative Film Society has kicked off another series of classic, independent and foreign films in the Bulkley Valley.
The society opened their 2023 Fall Series this past Sunday with a showing of last year’s Academy Award winner, “Everything Everywhere All at Once.” They have a full lineup of of films that will be shown biweekly at 5 p.m. on Sundays at the Roi Theatre.
Bill Price founded the organization in 1996 with his wife, Anne-Marie Findlay, and has been bringing the best of alternative films to Smithers ever since.
“The Alternative Film Series started at the high school but after a year switched to the Roi Theatre,” he said. “A major part of any success is due to the support of Art and now Lorne and Angela Buchanan and their staff at the Roi Theatre.”
Films selected for the series range from a mix of dramatic and comedy films from Canada and around the world.
“The films we show are typically winners of best film at multiple film festivals and end of season awards” Price said. “For most of us in Smithers, this is our only opportunity to see these films on the big screen.”
Oct. 15: “Broker”
This South Korean film revolves around characters associated with baby boxes, which allows infants to be anonymously dropped off to be cared for by others. It stars Song Kang-ho, Gang Dong-won, Bae Doona, Lee Ji-eun and Lee Joo-young, and won best actor for Song and the Ecumenical Jury Award at the 2022 Cannes Film Festival.
Oct. 29: “Tár”
Cate Blanchett stars as Lydia Tár, a world-renowned conductor facing accusations of misconduct. The supporting cast in this American and German psychological drama includes Mark Strong, Nina Hoss, Noémie Merlant, Julian Glover and Allan Corduner.
Blanchett won best actress at the BAFTAs (British Academy of Film and Television Arts Awards), Golden Globes and Critic’s Choice Movie Awards.
Nov. 12: “Scarborough”
An adaptation of Catherine Hernandez’s 2017 novel, this Canadian film centres around the coming of age of three young children, Bing, Sylvie and Laura, in a low-income neighbourhood in the Scarborough district of Toronto. Liam Diaz, Mekiya Essence Fox and Anna Claire Beitel star as the children.
It won the Changemaker Award at the 2021 Toronto International Film Festival, and best actor for Diaz and best supporting actress for Cherish Violet Blood at the 2022 Canadian Screen Awards.
Nov. 26: “The Beasts”
This Spanish and French thriller follows a married French couple settled in the Galician countryside and explores issues of xenophobia and hostility between neighbours. It stars Denis Ménochet, Marina Foïs and Luis Zahera, and won nine awards at the 37th Goya Awards, including best film, best director, best actor for Ménochet and best supporting actor for Zahera.
Dec. 10:“Past Lives”
South Korean-Canadian Celine Song directs this Canadian-American semi-autobiographical film inspired by real events from her life. The story follows the relationship between two childhood friends over the course of 24 years.
It stars Greta Lee, Teo Yoo and John Magaro, and received worldwide critical acclaim. Praise was directed towards Song’s writing and directing, visual style, and lead performances of Lee, Yoo and Magaro.
“The film society has a low profile in large part because we do not compete for the limited government funding available for arts and recreation,” Price said. “Revenue is returned to the community in the form of donations to community organizations. Past donations have been to youth groups and organizations addressing social issues such as fetal alcohol syndrome.”
Admission is $12 for adults and $9 for seniors 65 and older.