Ottawa Adventure Film Festival Recap

December is now upon us and the 2018 Ottawa Adventure Film Festival has come and gone.  The weeks leading up to and during the film festival proved to be quite hectic but with great results.  With the festival behind us, it is a perfect opportunity to look back and reflect on the successes that were had.  

Putting on a film festival of this scale would be impossible without a well functioning team.  Every member on the team plays an important role in the festival’s success.  Mike McKay, the owner of FIVE2NINE, is also the creator and owner of the Ottawa Adventure Film Festival. Without him and his experience, the mere idea of the festival would not have come to be.  Mike oversees the whole event not just in the fall but throughout the whole year, as the behind the scenes work is where any festival is made to either succeed or fail.  

For this 2018 edition of the festival, we had 5 screenings and 3 different programs.  Program A played on Saturday and Monday, program B played on Sunday and Wednesday, and then finally a screening of the film 3100: Run and Become at uOttawa on Thursday.  The Saturday, Sunday, and Wednesday screenings all sold out with the Monday screening at about 80% capacity.  This was all the confirmation we needed to show that we could up the ante next year and that the 2017 festival’s success was not just a fluke.  There is absolutely a market in Ottawa for this type of festival and the community for adventure sports and great films here made this very clear.  

The website and Facebook promotion were taken care of by Jordan Kent who does a great job a played a huge part in the selling out of three screenings.  Once again, Dylan Page, also known as Dylan the Magician, created the opening video to be played at the beginning of each screening and did a fantastic job.  A new addition to the team this year was Michelle De Alva.  Michelle joined the FIVE2NINE crew this fall and is great with video graphics.  Michelle worked on the teasers leading up to the festival.  

I was in charge of running the Ottawa Adventure Film Festival Instagram account, this included things like stories during the event, ticket giveaways, and posts after each screening.  The response from Instagram followers for ticket giveaways was awesome and I hope to see even more of that next year.   I could even be seen running around with a camera here and there trying to take some pictures that would capture the awesome atmosphere of the festival.     

 “There was a film that spoke to every audience member”

The audience feedback from the screenings was overwhelmingly positive and it seems that there was a film that spoke to every audience member.  It’s impossible to speak about the success of the screenings without mentioning Mark Day and Matt Godsoe’s fantastic hosting.  Mark opened the festival with the Saturday screening and Matt kept it going on Sunday and Monday.  This was such a big part of the audience’s engagement and enjoyment of the festival.  Another addition this year that was really great was having live music playing while the audience was rolling in.  Jessica Pearson & the East Wind delivered stunning performances that only added to the already great ambience of the Mayfair Theatre.  The music started every screening off on the right foot.