It’s no secret the Northern Ontario film industry has been growing, with bigger deals being sealed and new upcoming filmmakers, like Dale Carrigan, making a splash with his short documentary, Camani.
Screened during the 2016 North Bay Film Festival, Carrigan’s film took the Emerging Student Filmmaker Award.
Put on by North Bay Film, co-chair Ian Laplante said since they brought the Festival back last fall, it’s been growing greatly along with the rising local film industry.
“The local film industry is extremely strong right now and is a fast-growing industry in North Bay,” he said. “North Bay is really close to Toronto, is in Northern Ontario which has a lot of great opportunities for filmmakers to get tax breaks and the fast-growing programs at Canadore mean we have a lot of experienced production students to use on set.”
The North Bay Film Festival ran through September 29 to October 2 and featured student-made shorts from emerging filmmakers at Canadore College as well as newly distributed releases in the festival circuit.
Carrigan said the support from the local community as well as North Bay Film and the Festival has been incredible.
“It’s pretty motivating considering we’re just starting off,” he said. “It’s a good feeling knowing we’re stepping in the right directions when making films.”
Carrigan—who’s in his fourth year of Film Production at Canadore College—said he’s had nothing but support from his professors when it came to submitting work across film festivals. He also won a best in short award at Cinefest Sudbury, and a Broadcast Educators Association of Canada (BEAC) Award among others during his showing circuit.
His documentary received praise for its approach to Peter Camani—artist most known for his Screaming Heads near Burk’s Falls.
“One of my professors knew of him so we both went to see the sculptures and talk to Peter,” he said. “Afterwards, I decided to use him as my documentary subject and built a relationship with him over the next month and a half before making the film.”
Carrigan started his film in September of 2015 and finished the following April.
“At first I thought it would be about the Screaming Heads, but during the interview process I realized very quickly it had so much more to offer,” Carrigan said. “I love documentary filmmaking. You’re always learning new things and meeting new people who have messages they want to share.”
Laplante said he looks forward to growing the festival next year and celebrating local talent in filmmaking.
“We’re planning on getting together and really start solidifying plans for next year. We’re intending to screen at least one locally shot film—which didn’t quite work out this year due to logistics,” he said. “But the Festival is definitely growing fast and we look forward to showcasing more and more local filmmakers.”
North Bay Film—a non-profit, volunteer-run community—has been a rich local tradition for 25 years. Programming for North Bay Film is brought to you by the Near North Mobile Media Lab, a non-profit arts organization dedicated to providing students, artists and audiences in Northern Ontario the means to produce, present and enjoy media art.
North Bay Film is a member of the Toronto International Film Festival Circuit. For more information on North Bay Film and the North Bay Film Festival, visit their site here, or their Facebook page here.