The 14th edition of the Windsor International Film Festival wrapped Sunday and director Vincent Georgie announced, in honor of WIFF’s 15th edition, the festival will expand to a total of 10 days. This will bring it in line with major city festivals like Toronto and Montreal. Not bad for a smallish city of 200,000-plus. Here are some observations about this year’s event.
Intentional or not – and I can’t believe it’s not intentional – WIFF does an excellent job of marketing the festival. This is by tying in business sponsors – and therefore certain audiences – to films. For example, the documentary Big Time about Danish architecture Bjarke Ingels was introduced by the head of the local architectural society, and notably present in the audience were staff from several architectural firms. These may have been people who’d never been to the festival before and discovering it, might come back for more films this year and next. It’s called building audience. (Festival director Georgie is a marketing professor after all.)
The festival may be run by volunteers but it has a professional sheen. Every one of the 20 films I attended started on time with exception of Friday’s 4 pm screening of Tea with the Dames, where there was a technical glitch. But even at that the film was delayed only about 10 minutes, less time than what was announced.
I had no problem with the theatres at the four venues. The addition of the Armouries “stadium seating” classroom drew a few complaints from people who found the seats hard and the lower tiers positioned far below the screen and therefore forced them to crank up their necks. I always got an upper level seat so didn’t have that problem! Overall, though, I’d have to say this is a better venue than the Capitol Theatre’s Joy room’s temporary one level seating which it replaced.
The song audio playlist before films should constantly be changed. How about a fresh rotation of four or five new songs each day? I still have ear worms of Frank Sinatra’s Summer Wind and The Police’s Every Little Thing She Does is Magic.