Frequently Asked Questions

Why is it called the $100 Film Festival?

The Festival originally started in 1992 as a Super 8 Film Festival.  Even then, people were complaining that film was dead, so the event started as a challenge for local artists to make short films on Super 8.  At the time, four rolls of Super 8 and processing cost $100.  Thus the name.  After a few years the festival expanded its mandate to include 16mm film, which blew the budget out of the water, but the name remains, as does the dedication to the art of film!



Why film?

There is a fantastic quality about film that many artists fall in love with.  There are still a lot of filmmakers shooting of film, but quite often they will finish to a digital format.  This festival takes it a step further and highlights cinema that uses film through the entire process.   There is a beauty in the quality of the projection that is very different from a digital projection.  The light is warmer and richer, and the heat of the machinery and motion create an intimate and enveloping atmosphere.  Digital projection (and photography) tends to flatten the image - there is less depth of field and the colours are often not as rich.  Technology is getting closer to reproducing those qualities of film, but even the best technology is not quite the same.


Why was that film so weird?

Because the criteria of the Festival dictates that the artist has to finish on film, we tend to get submissions of works that finish to film on purpose.  That means that the films often deal with those qualities of cinema in a way that falls more in line with experimental underground film than narrative.  Many of the films use techniques that modify the medium - like hand processing, scratching or animating on the film surface, optical printing or other hand-made film techniques.   This means they focus more on the technical or conceptual use of film than a straight narrative.  However, one of the beautiful things about the festival is that we work hard to combine all genres in one program.  You will often see a narrative, an animation, an experimental film and a comedy one after the other in a single program.  There is literally something for everyone, and we love exploring the range of works that choose to finish to Super 8 or 16mm.


How do you choose the films?

For our regular shorts programs, we coordinate a jury of experienced film lovers that include filmmakers, artists, administrators and students.  That jury then sits and watches days worth of submissions and rates them numerically according to how strong they feel the work is (based on technique & artistic content).  At the end of the process, we tally the scores and hold discussion around them to make the final film selections.  We work as a group, and the jury changes every year, so that we can always bring in fresh perspectives and tastes to the festival.  The festival coordinator then collages all the films into separate programs.   For special programs, the work is often curated or selected specifically.


Can I bring children?

We encourage young film-lovers, and we generally leave the decision to your discretion.  The programs can be challenging and are probably not recommended for very young children.  In addition, we may have some evenings which feature nudity, violence or other non-child-friendly subject matter, and we license some screenings, which for reasons apparent, limit audiences under 18.  We will make the appropriate announcements if any of that is the case though.




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"Forget the grand plan.  Forget the master scheme.  Forget control.  That is the bleak but true basis of independent cinema.  Inch by motherfucking inch we must, because we have no other choice." 
- Oliver Stone

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