True to its diverse nature of discovery, Sled Island is also sporting a unique film program this year that will be sure to cure you of the shakes and jitters of musical withdrawal while you wait for the next hot show.

Programmer Adele Brunnhofer has years of experience writing about film and has been with Sled Film since 2012. This year, Brunnhofer is eager to show the Sled audience what they have in store for them.

“Honestly, I’m really excited to screen all of it because I think each film and the program in general will appeal to a lot of people, whether they know a lot about the film going into it or not,” she says.

The programming process, Brunnhofer explains, is set by a clear motivation to expose a wide audience to unique and thought-provoking arts, much like the rest of the festival.

“Largely, our programming strives to showcase independent films, emerging talent, a variety of formats and genres and content that’s aligned with the festival’s programming — and I think you’ll find all of that at this year’s festival. We’ve got a lot of memorable films that play into my favourite aspect of Sled Island, which is discovery,” she says.

“Emerging talent is also key,” she adds. “This year, we put a call out for film submissions and the response was overwhelming. This gave us the opportunity to program a variety of shorts from Canadian and international independent filmmakers covering narrative, comedy, animation and documentaries.”

This year’s program plays host to the synthesizer documentary, I Dream of Wires, an insight into the history and status of independent record stores in Last Shop Standing, and guest curator Kathleen Hanna (unfortunately no longer able to appear as scheduled due to health concerns) is the subject of the punkumentary, The Punk Singer, which features interviews and archival footage detailing Hanna’s early beginnings, her contributions to the riot grrrl movement and her struggle with Lyme disease.

On the topic of the amount of documentaries in this year’s lineup, Brunnhofer explains the rationale:

“I think music docs will always be a part of the Sled Island film program, to some degree. This year we just happened to get really excited about so many different documentaries. Teenage, I Dream Of Wires, Last Shop Standing — they’re all premiere status for Sled and are just really well-made docs about topics that I think will appeal to a variety of Sled attendees.”

All the films playing in this year’s festival will take place at The Globe Cinema on Eighth Avenue and the ConocoPhillips Theatre, located at the Glenbow Museum, both in the heart of downtown. The films are also conveniently scheduled so as to not interfere with the late-night shows going on during the week.

“We wanted our program to support the rest of what the festival is programming and so we strategically timed early screenings so that attendees could still make it out to shows after. Film and concerts, best of both worlds you know?

“On Sunday afternoon, we’re screening a matinee package that includes a rare 35 mm screening of The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T, which is a live action musical from 1953 written by Dr. Seuss. It’s equally trippy and delightful. [It is] great for families and those who partied too hard and need to hide from the sun in a darkened theatre,” she adds.

The price of admission into these rad flicks is already included in your nifty festival wristband (provided you were wise enough to get one). For everyone else, there will be tickets available at the door and a number of the films are all ages so you can bring the whole family down and, together, experience the ever dreamy and dizzying blur of film, music, art, and comedy that Sled Island does all too well.

By Alonso Melgar

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