Kingston Canadian Film Festival (KCFF) has announced it's 2022 lineup, and will mark a return to in-person screenings for the first time in two years.
Festival Director Marc Garniss says for many Kingstonians, the festival they've come to know has been absent since 2019 due to COVID forcing cancellation of all but opening night of the 2020 festival.
Last year KCFF pivoted to a fully virtual event in order to put on the festival, and though there will be a return to in person many films will still be presented digitally.
Garniss says that although live presentation can be a great experience and it's exciting for filmmakers to be on the big screen, festival organizers have found that digital format has actually provided its' own benefits.
"On one hand it's nice seeing your work on the big screen everybody loves the liveness of that but on the other hand inevitably you do get more viewers by it being available online," Garniss said.
"Last year with it being all digital it was our best box office ever and we definitely had a lot of people from Kingston that had attended for 20 years and they were like 'nope I have no interest in doing that', but then for every one person that wasn't interested there were two or three others living in areas as far away as Australia that are like 'cool, I've never heard of your festival before but I'm in'."
KCFF features solely Canadian films, and is the largest festival in the world that is dedicated to doing so.
This year's lineup features a number of films generating buzz in the Canadian film sphere.
Opening night will see the screening of "All My Puny Sorrows" featuring Alison Pill and Sarah Gadon, and Canada’s submission to the Academy Awards’ category for best international feature "Drunken Birds" will screen the second evening.
Dawn, Her Dad and The Tractor may be of interest to Trailer Park Boys' fans as a digital choice, with Robb Wells (Ricky) featured prominently and Shelley Thompson (Barbara Lahey) directing the film.
This year the festival is digitally running local shorts programs on both Friday and Saturday night, having received enough quality local submissions to expand to two programs.
Although the festival will continue to be different and have less overall in-person activity, Garniss says KCFF staff are hopeful to work with the Kingston Film Office throughout the year to bring the community more activities like workshops and outdoor screenings as the weather gets warmer and people feel more comfortable.
"Our intent is to have a busier 2022 than 2021," Garniss said.
The majority of films will run theatrically and/or digitally from March 3-March 5, with tickets and info available on KCFF's website.