No rift with casino - festival chief
That included 600 high school students who attended a special screening and live interactive broadcast with well-known Canadian actor Colm Feore, a former Windsor resident.
Media coverage prior to the festival suggested the fest was off to a bad start, after losing its long term programmer Otto Buj.
It also suggested a down note because the fest was no longer screening opening night films at the casino.
As well, the WIFF scheduled the event the same weekend as BookFest Windsor, thereby creating a conflict by going after the same artsy audience.
To set the record straight Coady said it was the festival’s decision not to screen at Caesars.
“It was s big step for our board to take to move from the casino,” he said.
“And basically we were being honest with the casino. The casino wanted more screenings...and for us it’s technically difficult. I mean moving a 35 millimetre projector after our opening night back to the Capitol (Theatre) for our regular programming, our guys were up to 3 in the morning, and then you start the festival with guys who are already bagged.”
As well, he said, he didn’t “believe that a film festival belongs in a casino” despite the casino giving WIFF “a good offer of support” including use of its 5,000 seat entertainment hall The Colosseum.
As for the collision course with the BookFest Coady said that turned out to be a non-issue.
“The big fact is they had great crowds, we had great crowds.”
Coady said his fest is usually held a week later.
It was moved up because the traditional Thursday gala opening would have been on Remembrance Day.
“And that’s why we felt we couldn’t have an opening – a big gala – on Remembrance Day,” he said.
WIFF sold out five of the six sreenings of locally-made movies though they were in the 125 seat smaller Joy theatre with some chairs added.
And the Saturday night screening of It’s Kind of a Funny Story also sold out.
But there were a few bugs that still needed to be ironed out after the festival’s sixth year.
Coady said that while the sound vastly improved in the largest theatre, the Pentastar – aided by a screen formerly owned by the Detroit Film Theatre – sound in the Kelly theatre was poor.
“That may have been attributable to some electrical problems up in the booth.”
And he acknowledged the seats at the Capitol are a problem.
“I can’t deny that,” he said. “There are problems with it that are going to have to be looked at.”
He also suggested perhaps more films could be screened a second time and that “we’re still dealing with the box office issue.”
Despite the ability to pre-order tickets online many people bought tickets at the box office, which this year was moved from the comfortable inside lobby to a street location beside the theatre with people lining up in the cold.