Our last in-person festival was in 2019 – read comments about that festival at 2019 Comments.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 14th Reel Shorts Film Festival that was originally scheduled for May 4-11, 2020 was rescheduled to April 26 to May 9, 2021. Since in-person events were still not allowed at that time, the fest became an online free event with 73 films from 20 countries including 6 from the Peace Region. It was the first festival that we did not solicit feedback by questionnaire, but the following people emailed comments and gave permission to share them.
“So enjoying the films!!! Have watched all the kid’s packages … have my faves! Lol. I so enjoyed every film in the Criminal Intent and Peace Region film packages. Site was very easy to use on my iPad. I miss seeing everyone but living far away now, I think doing the films this way is great! Thanks so much for bringing this to us.” (Margaret Johansen, Vancouver, BC)
“I was thrilled to get to watch the wonderful films this year. I have always envied my sister who gets to watch them every year.” (Anne Strilchuk, Carstairs, Alberta)
“[The printed program is] just something I kind of collect really. I make notes on the films, star my favorites. I like reading about the makers. My friend and I will still be watching all the packages together this week so I thought it would be nice to have a couple programs for us to go through as we watched the films. (We will even have our own pizza party psycho shorts lol.) I can’t wait for in-person fest again. It’s been my favorite yearly event for over a decade. I’ve always come by myself and made friends at each viewing.” (Sara Cripps, County of Grande Prairie)
“I am a Grade 1 teacher from Ecole Montrose. Our class wanted to thank you for an amazing selection of films offered for the student programming. We watched the videos as a class and thoroughly enjoyed them. Students drew their favourite film and wanted to send them as a thank you. Thank you so much.” (Kelly Anne Macleod, Grade 1 Teacher, Ecole Montrose School, Grande Prairie)
“Our class has loved having the Film Fest virtual this year! It’s been great for discussions and lessons for the students. Being able to re-watch and look deeper each time is huge for their understanding.” (Jason Smith, Grade 4/5 Teacher, Roy Bickell Public School, Grande Prairie)
“Just watched the junior high package with Grade 7. They loved them. I almost forget how amazingly good the festival is. I also watched a couple of the Grade 4-6 films with them because we had a little extra time. The one about plastic in the ocean is incredible! Thanks again!” (Josie McKay, Junior High Teacher, St. Stephen’s School, Valleyview)
“Thank you so much for this amazing award that makes me so proud and honoured. Thank you for your kind words and the words of the jurors. It’s so warm, and it gives us the strength and motivation to keep working and try to do our best for the next projects. Thank you for this generous cash prize. It was totally unexpected and is really appreciated. I really wish I could meet you all in person. But the situation didn’t help traveling to follow the film. Maybe later, maybe with another film! Thank you for all the work you put into this virtual version of the festival. It’s amazing you guys made it happen despite the situation. To sum up, thank you!” (Koya Kamura, France, Writer/Director of Homesick which won the Special Jury Prize)
“Great fest this year with all things considered. Great work by you and all involved. We were happy to be included. I am also happy that the number of Peace Region filmmakers grows every year. Here’s to another great festival next year!” (Keith Lawrence, Peace Region, Writer/Producer/Director of Zombies and Indians)
“I’m so glad Zone Rouge was able to participate in this year’s festival, and great to hear about the honourable mention. It’s also great to hear that it got screened at various schools. I always love the chance for younger audiences to have access to films. It’s so important on many levels.” (Dominique van Olm, Canada, Co-Writer/Director of Zone Rouge which received Honorable Mention for Best Documentary Short)