Arts, authors, and films, it’s a fabulous Fall for culture vultures visiting Oshawa this month.
Cue clapboard and action as The Durham Region International Film Festival celebrates the 2023 Fall series with three days of screenings on Thursday, October 19, Friday, October 20, and Saturday, October 21. Films will be shown at various venues across Durham, closing with a day-long line-up at the Biltmore Theatre in downtown Oshawa. Tickets, screening times, and locations are available via their website, www.driff.ca.
The Biltmore will open at 9:45 a.m. for a couple of free events, including a workshop at 10 a.m. on Foley, which is the reproduction of sound effects added in the post-production of a movie. This will be followed at 1 p.m. with a ‘Behind the Scenes with Cast and Crew’ special, where the audience can chat with industry professionals, including make-up, costume, cinematography, art direction, props, acting, and maybe even grips and best boys! Always wanted to know about those roles.
Doors re-open at 2:45 p.m. for the ticketed awards and screenings, beginning with ‘Homegrown Shorts.’ This includes ‘Redlights’ by Eva Thomas, which tells the story of two Indigenous women on an evening outing; Colin Carvey’s ‘Long Hallowe’en’; ‘Beyond the Ranch’ by Alex Perri; and ‘Not Here, Not There’ directed by Eric Grenier, written by Cullen McGuirk (yes full disclosure my son).
Feature-length movies start at 6 p.m. with ‘Purple Don’t Cry’, and ‘Egghead and Twinkie’, followed by a Q&A, and further awards. ‘Purple Don’t Cry’ tells the story of a young Muslim who gets caught in a life of crime, and ‘Egghead and Twinkie’ is a classic road movie featuring a young gay Asian American and her nerd bestie.
Before DRIFF, and not part of the film festival, The Regent Theatre will screen ‘Seed: The Untold Story’ on Wednesday, October 18. This documentary, presented by The Oshawa Environmental Advisory Committee (O.E.A.C.) in partnership with the Region of Durham and Ontario Tech University’s Office of Campus Infrastructure and Sustainability, explores how seeds are threatened by economic, environmental and climate changes and how seed keepers are fighting to hold on to the world’s 12,000-year food legacy.
You may as well settle into the downtown for the week, as on Tuesday, October 17, the Local History Speaker Series takes place at the McLaughlin Branch of the Oshawa Public Libraries in the lower-level auditorium, which is located at 65 Bagot Street, Oshawa. This month's series, appropriately enough as we hone in on Halloween, will look at Ontario’s Ghost Towns with Ron Brown, author of ‘Backroads of Ontario,’ ‘Top 150 Unusual Things to See in Ontario’, and ‘The Train Doesn’t Stop Here Anymore,’ among others.
On Saturday, October 14, artist Noah Scheinman will speak at the opening of his exhibition, HEAVY/WATER/Machine, at the Robert McLaughlin Gallery. Scheinman is the RBC Emerging Artist in Residence at the gallery, and the exhibit explores his relationship with the nuclear industry and its effect on surrounding ecosystems.
There will also be a panel at the opening featuring Chief of Alderville First Nation David Mowat, as well as curator, researcher and project manager Warren Harper, who has projects on his native Britain's nuclear industry, along with Katie Lawson, curator for the Toronto Biennial of Art, Professor of English and Co-Director of the Graduate Program in Cultural Studies at Queen’s University, Laura J. Murray, Ryan Osman, a Mauritian Photographer and Water Resources Specialist based out of Wasaga Beach, Ontario.