Nickel festival showcases popular works from past

Nicholas Mercer
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A large audience anticipates the informal launch of the 11th annual Nickel Independent Film Festival at the LSPU Hall in St. John’s Wednesday night. Among the notables in attendance were newly minted MP Ryan Cleary and actors Andy Jones and Robert Joy. — Photo by Gary Hebbard/The Telegram

The Nickel Independent Film Festival organizers thought last year’s 10-year anniversary retrospective went so well, they decided they would do it again, says festival co-ordinator Janelle Hickey.

Wednesday night brought 11 different local films from the past 11 years of the Nickel Independent Film Festival to the LSPU Hall in St. John’s for a glimpse into the past, with eyes toward the future.

“As a pre-festival event, we thought we’d have a little look back at the last 11 years,” says Ruth Lawrence, executive director of the Nickel Independent Film Festival.

Films being shown were from past years of the festival that people might not have had the opportunity to see the first go around, says Hickey.

Lawrence says the group is always looking to do something to generate some excitement about the upcoming festival.

“We really want to get people geared up and ready to see more films, and this is a great way of doing it, by showing them hits from the past.”

The retrospective brought out a  large crowd to the LSPU Hall.

“We push it as much as we can and it’s just so great the Nickel community continues to grow,” says Hickey. “Its just great to see the hall packed.”

Good night

Festival founder and the curator of this year’s festival, Roger Maunder, was on hand to welcome those in attendence.

“As a pre-festival event, we thought we’d have a little look back at the last 11 years.” Ruth Lawrence

He said the crowd was in for a good night of films and thanked volunteers for their effort in keeping the festival going.

“The Nickel wouldn’t be anything without people coming out and supporting local film,” says Maunder, who now works as a first-time film maker-mentor for the Newfoundland Independent Filmmakers Co-Operative.

Lawrence says the festival looks for volunteers to do a host of activities.

This year’s festival turns 11 and is celebrating by showing 55 films over five days.

“It’s going to be a great variety and just the kind of quality people expect from the Nickel,” says Hickey.

Of the 55 films being shown, 21 are locally produced, says Lawrence.

“That’s the best number in the past four or five years,” she says. “It shows the growth of the local film industry and the support it has.”

The Nickel Independent Film Festival gets underway June 21 and finishes its run June 25.

For more information on the festival, call 709-576-3378 or visit the website www.nickelfestival.com.

nmercer@thetelegram.com

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  • Dana
    May 12, 2011 - 09:18

    The night was a huge success! It was an excellent program and showed the depth of filmmaking in Newfoundland. YAY Nickel!