Move over, Toronto ‘ Hollywood North just got bigger.
Ottawa’s film industry is growing, said Nina Bains, executive director at the Ottawa International Film Festival Tuesday. “We’re gonna see the face of the city change significantly.”
A total of 32 features and short-length films are on the roster at this year’s festival which begins today at the Empire Theatres at the World Exchange Plaza and runs until Aug. 20.
Homegrown actor, director and writer Thomas Michael’s feature comedy, Running Mates, co-starring Henry Winkler and Graham Greene, will have its Canadian premiere on the final day of the festival.
“It’s just fun to come home and show people what we’re up to,” says Michael, who now resides in Los Angeles and Toronto. He said he looks forward to catching up with friends and family in the city.
The film’s plot ‘ an ambitious young man leaves his small town for the big city, only to return to run as mayor ‘ draws from Michael’s own childhood experiences living in Aylmer. “Ottawa has a small-town feel to it,” he said, adding that because of that he always feels like an outsider in larger cities ‘ a sensibility that helped shape his film.
Bains, a filmmaker herself, founded the festival last year when she noticed Ottawa lacked a forum for showcasing local talent alongside major national filmmakers.