Domestic violence in the spotlight in Sask. director’s debut at Regina International Film Festival
The Regina International Film Festival takes places in the Queen City this week and a Saskatchewan student will be showing off his film “Emily.”
Director Spencer Zimmerman is from Saskatoon, and is currently attending the School of Motion Arts at Capilano University in British Columbia. He said being able to screen the film in his home province is special.
“It means a lot to be able to bring this movie back with me home, and be able to talk about it in a place where the industry is still alive, if only for a week,” said Zimmerman.
“Emily” began as a school project focusing on domestic violence, showing the highs and lows of a couple’s engagement.
“It's something that I don’t think gets talked about enough, I think not a lot of people are really talking about it and not everybody is aware of how it works,” said Zimmerman. “If I just touch one person, or reach out to once person who didn't know about it or didn't realize they were in that type of relationship then I think it'd be a success.”
Sofia House, a Regina based domestic violence shelter, threw its support behind the film that is helping educate audience members about abuse.
“Not only are we opening up a conversation of something that affects a lot of people, it's a conversation that's also going to have facts and information so that other people can go and learn some more about it in ways that are effective,” said Kate Neufeld, the children’s program coordinator with Sofia House.
Emily will be screened on Thursday evening at 9:30 at Cineplex Normanview and will be followed by a question and answer period with Zimmerman and Neufeld.
The Regina Film Festival has a focus on locally produced content which John Thimothy, the president and CEO of the Regina International Film Festival, said is crucial after film industry cuts in the province over the past few years.
“It's grown substantially larger than when we started,” said Thimothy. “Keeping the flame going and just to celebrate the movies and just to encourage and entertain and motivate people to make movies in Saskatchewan.”
The Regina International Film Festival will show its films until Saturday and will wrap up with a red carpet and awards ceremony that evening.