Grab some popcorn– the film festival that brought 5000 people to downtown Sarnia in 2016 is returning for its third edition.
The South Western International Film Festival, also known as SWIFF, is going to be at the Imperial Theatre from November 2 to 5.
“We’re bringing films and conversations that just wasn’t happening in Sarnia-Lambton,” said Ravi Srinivasan the executive director of SWIFF and a St. Patrick’s graduate. “We’re bringing films that Cineplex would never get and we’re bring diverse stories by diverse filmmakers.”
Since its conception, SWIFF has screened films from South Korea, Iran, India, Sweden, and indigenous films including award-winning Angry Inuk, noted Srinivasan.
This year, SWIFF is offering 15 films and two concerts with themes from across the globe and a virtual reality exhibit will be set up at the Judith and Norman Alix Art Gallery offering the chance to check out Canadian themed virtual reality with SESQUI.
Srinivasan said he is talking to the Town of Petrolia about possible screenings at the Victoria Playhouse.
While Srinivasan couldn’t say much about this year’s films, he said SWIFF hopes to show films from South Asia, Southeast Asia, South America, Canada, and American films with recognizable movie stars.
SWIFF is also presenting another series of new media workshops open to all members of the community and free for local high school students.
“When I was in high school nobody was offering anything like this for me,” said Srinivasan. “I think with the landscape of social media and video production and online writing it’s so much more prevalent than when I was in high school which means having these skills is important.”
The workshops include a documentary lesson with award-winning filmmaker Hugh Gibson, a print and digital writing program for female writers with Kiva Reardon who has contributed to The Globe and Mail and the National Post, and a class in composing music for film with Sarnia-native and music composer Erica Procunier. The workshops will take place at the Judith and Norman Alix Art Gallery and to register for a workshop visit the SWIFF website.
New this year is the VIP Weekend Pass which includes access to all the films and both concerts, reserved prime seating, free beverages at the concerts, and front-of-the-line access to the virtual reality exhibit. Only 60 VIP passes are available and can be purchased at the Imperial Theatre box office.
For more information about SWIFF, visit its website.