With almost a hundred films to watch, plus workshops and social events, all packed into an intense three days, you might think the attendees at the 15th Dawson City International Short Film Festival had had enough by the time Sunday night’s last screenings rolled around. But, judging from the size and enthusiasm of the final audience, this was far from the case.
Before the 8 p.m. screening, aptly named The Big Finish, Dawson City Arts Society board member Peter Menzies took the mike to thank the sponsors and contributors, and to allow the audience to wallow in a moment of well-deserved appreciation for not just the resounding success of DCISFF, but for all the many and varied events and activities successfully staged by KIAC in the past year.
Then it was on to the shorts, which were again an eclectic and awe-inspiring mix of genres and ideas. Fittingly, the very last one shown was the tongue-in-cheek Ordinary Gold, shot last year while filmmaker Brian Lye was Artist-in-Residence here, and featuring a dozen Dawsonites in the cast.
After the screening, Film Fest producer Dan Sokolowsky gave special — and much-appreciated — thanks to Front-of-House Manager Karen MacKay (whose tireless and long-standing volunteer efforts, by the way, have just garnered her an award from the Yukon’s commish) and to Allie Haydock and Blake Cameron, the inspired caterers who provided festival goers with delicious, and considerately healthy, eats all weekend.
The real finish, of course, was the After Party, held for the first time at Dawson’s newest venue, The Alchemy Café. Weary but exuberant contributors and volunteers de-stressed, mingled, and partied inside the beautifully hand-crafted wood venue until the wee hours. Even the aurora borealis came to the party, putting on a memorable display of dancing light overhead. It was a well-earned chance to wind down and celebrate another successful Film Fest.
— Dan Dowhal