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Okotoks Film Festival wraps with special events

This year's festival was a success, says Okotoks Film Festival director Katie Fournell.

That's a wrap for this year's Okotoks Film Festival.

The eighth annual festival, held from June 5 to 9, featured 81 film screenings, with a record 17 films from Alberta, including eight from the Foothills, being screened.

According to festival director Katie Fournell, this year's festival saw new faces in the audience and increased turnouts for many screenings.

"We've had just an amazing enthusiasm from the audience," said Fournell. 

"We've really appreciated seeing more and more people coming out to the festival and giving a try to the international films and the short films and the indie films and just experiencing it for the first time."

On Saturday, June 8, the festival put Japanese culture in the spotlight — traditional taiko drumming and yukashi dancing were performed alongside Japanese film screenings.

Saturday also featured a screening of The Great Salish Heist, a film by renowned B.C. comedian and actor Darrell Dennis.

On Sunday, June 9, the festival hosted a panel discussion on filmmaking in Okotoks with Mayor Tanya Thorn, economic development specialist Josh Welz, and film location manager Mohammad Qazzaz, who has location management credits on major productions including Fargo and The Last of Us.

Films from the 48-Hour Filmmaking Challenge, which consists of new and experienced filmmakers creating an entire project from scratch in 48 hours, were screened on Sunday, followed by a festival wrap-up party.

Throughout the year, the Okotoks Film Society hosts other events including Oscar Nominated Shorts and the Okotoks Festive Film Festival. 

Amir Said

About the Author: Amir Said

Amir Said is a reporter and photographer with the Western Wheel covering local news in Okotoks and Foothills County. For story tips or questions about his articles, Amir can be reached at [email protected].
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