Picture this…film festival came out of a project by the Community Development department of Calgary Scope Society, called “Making Movies”. Individuals who wanted to tell a story got to make a 5 minute film with professional film makers.
This project was so successful that the thought came “there must be many other stories out there waiting to be told”. It also begged the question “How do we get to know other people’s stories and for others to be told ours?”. From this discussion the concept of Picture this…film festival evolved. Like the start of so many projects, a group of people sat around a table put their combined talents to the test and went about putting an international film festival together. Picture this...film festival, an international festival, on the theme of disability culture, was born!
The first festival (2001) was held at Fort Calgary and was an immediate success. Films came in from all over the world, totaling 116. Many people did indeed have a story to share.
After a few years the festival was moved to the University of Calgary where it was housed for three years. From the university in the N.W. of Calgary, it moved to La Joie De Vivre in Inglewood (in the centre of the city) where the festival called home for another three years. In 2010 a move was made to Albert Park Community Centre up on the N. E. quadrant of the city, for two years then ending up in 2013 at the lovely West Island College on Blackfoot Trail in The S.E. of Calgary. We moved again in 2015 to the new SCOPE building just off Centre Avenue in the S.E. Picture this...film festival has certainly moved about the city but this last venue we think will be our permanent festival home.
Picture this…film festival is an annual event held in March. Each year the festival has seen growth in many ways; the topics covered by the films, the number of filmmakers attending, the number of countries contributing films, the involvement of the volunteers and sponsors.The number of films submitted to the festival grows each year, to date there are over 1900 films entered into the Picture this…film festival.
The exhibition part of the festival, Picture this…on the road grew beside the main festival event. A slice of the festival travels during the year all over the province of Alberta, Canada and way beyond. In November 2009, 2011, 2013 and 2015 we were in Brighton, England! We hope to continue our relationship with Oska Bright bringing our festival to the U.K. The exhibition part of the festival allows many more people to experience at least part of the Picture this…film festival.
Another aspect of Picture this...film festival that has been both very successful and a special part of the fesitival is the Picture this…private screening booth. Patrons of the festival are able to go to a private screening booth to watch a film they have missed or were unable to see during its screening time or would like to view again. It is a great opportunity for festival patrons to view submitted films during festival hours of the three day festival.