Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Film fest screens movies about paddling sports

March 2, 2016 by Oriana Smy, contributing writer

 

The Reel Paddling Film Festival, now in its 11th year, screens independent films about paddling sports. That’s right: the movies are all related to water, the environment, and paddling. This year, the main themes are kayaking and the most recent craze on the water: stand-up paddle boarding.

This year also sees a change in venue, which organizers are happy about, as it means the potential for larger crowds.

“Typically we host the films at Ocean River Sports, but this year, with the Roxy Theatre as a venue, we’ll be able to accommodate a lot more people,” says Fred Pishalski, club meetings coordinator for South Island Sea Kayak Association (SISKA), who, along with Ocean River Sports, are involved in putting on the event.

The emphasis of the festival is to encourage audiences to explore rivers, oceans, and lakes, and to inspire viewers and paddlers to push physical, emotional, and geographical boundaries. There is a big focus on embracing the cultural and heritage aspects of the paddling environments.

The Reel Paddling Film Fest will feature movies with lots of scenes like this, showcasing the beauty of nature and life behind the paddles (photo by Gary McGuffin/Ontario Tourism).

The Reel Paddling Film Fest will feature movies with lots of scenes like this, showcasing the beauty of nature and life behind the paddles (photo by Gary McGuffin/Ontario Tourism).

“The films showcase a positive outlook about getting outside and enjoying nature,” says Ocean River Sports event organizer Brian Isaacs.

As the local event organizers, Ocean River and SISKA will choose eight films to be showcased for the screening. In previous years, some films focused on wilderness conservation or safety on the water; this year it’s looking like things are going to be paddle-heavy.

“All films are nature-focused and have something to do with water, primarily ocean or river and paddle-oriented,” says Isaacs. “This year seems to have a very strong paddling focus.”

These adventure-filled films are inspiring and admired among the paddling community.

“It’s a great way to get paddlers excited about the upcoming season on the water,” says Isaacs. “And it’s a great way to get out and see the world.”

SISKA is a non-profit organization that focuses on educating and informing paddlers about safety practices for all paddling levels.

“We provide an opportunity to share our passions with fellow paddlers,” says Pishalski.

All proceeds from the Reel Paddling Film Fest will go toward local charities that focus on community programs that get paddlers out on the water.

“In the past it has gone toward associations and groups for paddlers with disabilities, and it stays within the community,” says Pishalski.

The Reel Paddling Film Fest
Wednesday, March 9
$15, Roxy Theatre
reelpaddlingfilmfestival.com

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