Inaugural film festival coming to Chatham-Kent

Films from across the world will be screened at the inaugural Chatham-Kent International Film Festival Oct. 25-27.

Rob Bellamy, organizer of the Chathan-Kent Independent Film Festival, is shown outside the Kiwanis Theatre Sept. 19, 2019. The festival will be held at the theatre Oct. 25-27. (Tom Morrison/Postmedia Network)

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Films from across the world will be screened at the inaugural Chatham-Kent International Film Festival Oct. 25-27.

Organizer Rob Bellamy said they have received submissions from places such as Russia, Iran, Turkey and South Africa, and as nearby as Windsor.

“It’s interesting to learn the filming cultures in other areas of the world,” he said. “I’ve had people contact me from Iran specifically that want to be part of the festival, but it costs them more to get a credit card than it does to make the film, so to pay the submission fee, it takes them twice as much as it does to make a film.”

The full slate of films will be announced in early October. Bellamy said they are planning to have five blocks showing one short and one feature each and then a sixth block showcasing additional short films.

He said the event started out as his own initiative, but eventually others from his production company, Jx3 Media Productions, came on board.

Bellamy is also one of the organizers of the CK Expo and said that experience has shown him how much Chatham-Kent enjoys fun events.

“There hasn’t been a really, really good film festival in Chatham since Peter Martin put on that first one (in 2013 and 2014),” he said. “Even then, it was nice because it was local, but there is so much globally that I’ve been exposed to lately that I would love to bring to Chatham-Kent.”

Planning the event has been easier than Bellamy thought, he said, because working on the Expo prepared him for this endeavour.

“There’s still a lot because we have to program the entire day,” he said. “We have to make sure everybody knows that they can come because we anticipate a few of the filmmakers actually coming from wherever they may be.”

The film screenings will be held throughout the day on Oct. 26 at the Kiwanis Theatre. People can meet the filmmakers at an undetermined location Oct. 25. Awards will also be presented at JazzBah Oct. 27 at 1 p.m.

The festival will be giving out 12 awards, ranging from best feature film to best editing to best score to best male and female actors.

“We want to try and highlight everything that we can,” Bellamy said. “A couple of them, we were on the fence about, but now that the submissions are coming in, it looks like there are some choices.”

Tickets are $5 per screening block or $20 for all six. They can be purchased through CKTickets.com.

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