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More films, more variety as Hudson Film Festival goes virtual

By Clint Ward



PHOTO COURTESY CLINT WARD/HUDSON FILM FESTIVAL

A still from ‘Body and Bones,’ a film about a young woman named Tess who has withdrawn from her life following the loss of a family member. The one thing that comforts her is listening to the music of Danny Sharpe and when she wakes one day to find him in her kitchen, it ignites a spark of life in her that grows out of control.


Last year the Hudson Film festival was well attended and closed with Louise Archambault’s, And the Birds Rained Down – a masterly film from Quebec. Applauded organizers were promising an even bigger and more exciting 2021 event. Then COVID-19 struck and the doors of the Village Theatre were locked. It quickly became apparent that the closure would remain well into 2021 and the film projector would not send the beam of light to the theatre screen for the 6th edition of the celebration of Canadian film. The Hudson Film Society (HFS) was presented with three choices; postpone, cancel, or stream the films into the living rooms of film fans. Thankfully, the third option was selected.


PHOTO COURTESY CLINT WARD/HUDSON FILM FESTIVAL

A featured film is Margaret Atwood: A Word After a Word After a Word is Power.


A ‘Virtual Festival’ was an unknown and complicated proposition but the HFS embraced the challenge as an opportunity rather than a difficult alternative. The 10-film Festival over five days was expanded to 17 events in 10 days. The entire program can be enjoyed anywhere in Canada.

The March 10 program includes four films from Quebec, one from Newfoundland, one from Nova Scotia and nine other films, plus two short film events, with Canadian connections. A featured film is Margaret Atwood: A Word After a Word After a Word is Power. It has been on television in a truncated 55-minute version but will be presented in its full glory of 92 minutes.Ben’s Screening Room,’ named in honour of the late Ben McKinnon, is back with short films from young filmmakers in competition for the Festival Award for the winning entry. There will also be a short film attraction combining several shorts following, Silent Majority, a 40-minute story produced in and around Hudson’s High School several years ago.


To see the film list, get story details, trailers, and purchase tickets or passes go to the Hudson Village Theatre Website (www.villagetheatre.ca) and click on the Festival banner at the top of the home page. All passes and tickets are one per household so everyone in a bubble can watch. The best buy is the full pass for all 17 entries. The films will be available March 10 at 1 p.m. and you can watch them when you want, day or night, until March 20 at 11 p.m.

For pass-holders there will be several Zoom attractions starting with the festival introduction on March 10 with the directors of the Atwood film, Nancy Lang and Peter Raymont. There will also be a closing Zoom gathering to announce the winners of Ben’s Screening Room and the audience favourite film of the entire Festival.

Shout out to your friends wherever they are - The Hudson Film Festival is going virtual! Stop staring at the walls during pandemic isolation. Instead, watch some great films from Canada. Yes there is Netflix and Crave, and Amazon Prime and whatever else but a comfortable watch of good Canadian Films in a festival spirit is something those other sources are not selling.

See you at the movies!

For more images from the featured films, see our Facebook page.

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