Niagara Integrated Film Festival A Resounding First Year Success
With Box Office Beyond Expectations
NIFF Awards were handed out with first nods going to South Africa’s Ian Gabriel (Four Corners),
USA’s Zach Arnold (Go Far: The Christopher Rush Story, and local Niagara filmmaker Mike Enns (Restrung)
Surpassing all expectations, the inaugural Niagara Integrated Film Festival has been a resounding success in its inaugural year.
A number of screenings at White Oaks Ampitheatre and Landmark Cinema were sold out, most of the Filmalicious programs were sold out and the Film Feast programs were met with high acclaim. Bobby Roth (Prison Break, Lost, Revenge, Criminal Minds) taught the first NIFF Master Class to a full room of engaged participants.
“I can’t say enough about the people who took this idea and helped turn it into the stunning success that this first year was,” says NIFF Founder and Executive Director Bill Marshall. “We all know there are more than 5,000 film festivals in the world, and all the filmmakers we talked to told us we’re easily already in the top 50. Give us a couple of years, and we’ll move right up there.”
Overall ticket sales were beyond anyone’s original box office predictions better than expected with lots of same day sales. Being the festival’s first year, it has been wonderful to see such enthusiasm from film-goers – locals and out-of-towners alike. Audiences came from as far as Sudbury, Buffalo and Toronto. It can only go up from here next year and the coming years to follow.
“This Festival wouldn’t have reached the magnitude it did without the outstanding professionalism of our winery partners, Dorian Anderson and Associates, and the support and enthusiasm from the filmmakers who attended our Festival from around the world,” says Managing Director Roberta Marie Munroe, “and of course, our small yet extraordinary staff and over 100 amazing volunteers, who worked tirelessly, to bring this beautiful region a spectacular event.”
NIFF 2014 Festival attendees were praising the programs and the overall stellar line-up of films. Guests are eagerly asking if bookings are being accepted now for next year. The Niagara region has been so warm and welcoming to our festival. The winery and vineyard hosts and tour guides have been beyond knowledgeable, friendly, and attentive.
“We are so grateful to all our sponsors and partners,” says NIFF Founder and President Sari Ruda, “who took a leap of faith to get behind us and allow us to bring this Festival to Niagara.”
And now we are pleased to present the very first NIFF awards:
Best Feature – “Four Corners” – Director Ian Gabriel
Best Director – Dan Hartley – “Lad: A Yorkshire Story” (first feature film)
Best Documentary – “Go Far: The Christopher Rush Story” – Director Zach Arnold
Best Male Actor – Geoffrey Rush “The Best Offer”
Best Female Actress – Hannah Marshall “The Infinite Man”
Best Family Film – “Ribbit” – Director Chuck Powers
Best Script – “100-year Old Man Who Jumped Out the Window & Disappeared”
Best Niagara Rises Feature – “A Kind of Wonderful Thing” – Director Jason Lupish
RBC Emerging Artist Award ($2,500) – “Restrung” – Director Mike Enns
Best Niagara Rises Short – “Sidewalk Surfing” – Director Dillon Erwin
World Smallest Film Festival ($1,000)– “Jean Reno” – director Tom Hunter
World Smallest Film Festival (Samsung Tablet) – “The Drips” – director Darryl Shaw
World Smallest Film Festival (honourable mention) – “The Price of Black Gold” – Shaun Fernando