'Our own little Hollywood': Filmmakers descend on Queen City for Regina International Film Festival
There were flashing cameras, a red carpet, and everyone dressed to the nines all making the Queen City look like royalty at the Regina International Film Festival and Awards over the weekend.
RIFFA wrapped up its fourth awards night on Saturday at Casino Regina, welcoming filmmakers from throughout Canada and around the world.
Organizers say the growing festival has become a hit with attendees.
“They’re telling us now that we are in the top give in the country in terms of quality programming, quality infrastructure, quality communications and so on and so forth,” said Claire Belanger-Parker, RIFFA’s Festival Manager.
Even with attendance from all over, plenty of local talent is involved, especially when it comes to Saskatchewan’s fashion scene.
Regina-based designer Dean Renwick has worked in both film and fashion, and said the night was a reminder the film industry can still have some presence in Saskatchewan.
“It’s kind of like our own little Hollywood,” Renwick said. “Something like this brings it back here, and it shows that we’re not to be left out in this province, this province has amazing talent to be reckoned with.”
Regina mayor Michael Fougere says the festival becoming established has been great for the city.
“Every year RIFFA grows more and more and this is another example of a lot of people coming here to see what’s happening,” Fougere said.
But behind the smiles and glamour of the red carpet, there’s a reality the festival is facing: the need for more support from government and the community to fuel further growth, as getting RIFFA to this point was not an easy task.
“I think we need the sponsorship support, we need the money to be able to produce this show,” Belanger-Parker said. “We need the financial support to keep some key people working because I think everyone’s running out of steam.”
But with another year now in the books, the RIFFA board says it wants a fifth edition next year to keep building on the festival that was built from the ground up.