In the past 3 years of National Canadian Film Day, we have focused on finding a Canadian film to watch. The joy of National Canadian Film Day is ideally to find a place where Canadian film is being celebrated in a group.
Yes, you could search Netflix for Canadian films or ask your video store clerk where the Canadian films are in the store.
For example, the Vancouver International Film Festival is celebrating a week of Canadian film, including screenings of The Sweet Hereafter and Exotica with director Atom Egoyan and actor Bruce Greenwood.
Los Angeles even has its own celebration featuring Oscar-nominated director Denis Villeneuve.
You can see if there is a celebration near you.
If you don't live in Canada or prefer a more intimate setting for watching film, the National Canadian Film Day offer up a 150 list, a list of 150 Canadian films to match up with the 150 years of Canada. The site admits this isn't a best-of list but does offer a wide variety of cinema choices.
You can find their list here.
You can filter their list by language, genre, interest, and even by province. The list is a decent mix of films I've seen, films I want to see, and films I don't know.
Canadians can also watch select Canadian films on various cable channels. Click here for those options.
You can find one of my many film reviews, both individual and collaborative efforts such as the Windsor International Film Festival updates. We've made it easier now in the search to bring up all the WIFF film summaries. You can click here or see on the right side of the blog and click on "film reviews."
American viewers should have better access to Canadian films, perhaps creating a 1-day opening (like a National Canadian Film Day for Americans) where Americans could watch these films as easily as Canadians do. Technically, this is not an holiday for the Americans. Reel Canada has a hard enough time getting Canadians excited about Canadian film. But as we've learned about Canadian society, if Americans like something, Canadians will also like it, even if it comes from its own creative process.
As for your humble narrator, I'm going to spend National Canadian Film Day 2017 by watching waydowntown by Gary Burns. I know this film involves a group of 20-somethings who try to go the longest without having to go outside in downtown Calgary. I will be reviewing this film for an upcoming film review.
I do want to give a shout-out to Love in the Sixth, a film that I saw about 365 days ago at the 2016 Chicago International Movies & Music festival. As I noted last year, "The film is still starting out on the road to get noticed so it might be awhile until the film comes around." There will be a significant showing of the film in Toronto in late June; we'll have more details closer to the time.
The 2017 version of the festival has been delayed until November, so we don't have new films to mention.
Even if the film is "small," this is a reminder of the potential energy from truly independent films that are visibly Canadian. For full disclosure, I am friends with several cast members, but after I saw the film last year.
photo and video credits: Reel Canada