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Ottawa Canadian Film Festival. Photo provided by Jith Paul.

OCanFilmFest is back in person with films made by independent Canadian filmmakers

By Shireen Agharazi-Dormani on October 24, 2022

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A film, like any other work of art, is a visual representation of not only one’s thoughts but also one’s emotions. And, like any work of art, it can take plenty of time and effort to create. Lastly, like any work of art, it deserves to be shared and appreciated by anyone willing to give their attention.

For their sixth annual film fest, the Ottawa Canadian Film Festival is hosting at the Bytowne Cinema from Nov. 3-5. And with their previous two festivals being presented online due to the pandemic, they’re more than excited to be back in person again.

Offering every genre you can think of, this year’s film festival program showcases 12 Canadian-made films that will gain a multitude of reactions: tugging at your heartstrings, making your stomach hurt from laughing, tickling your thinking, and all of the above. From short films to features, documentaries to narratives to experimental ones, all made by creators from all over the country, OCan’s 2022 film lineup offers a variety to viewers.

OCAN22 Promo. Photo provided.

“The diversity of stories we tell about ourselves represent our cultural mosaic,” says OCanFilmFest co-founder Blair Campbell. “These are stories of people dealing with the challenges of modern life. Some are joyous, some are cautionary tales and many others are simply humorous takes on what we’ve all experienced in the past few years.  The common factor is that these are real stories about real people told through a smaller lens than commercial films but no less entertaining and engaging.”

This year’s event marks the return to an in-person physical festival for OCanFilmFest, having relied on everything being virtual for the past two years. While advantages came with those virtual festivals, such as a wider potential audience, an in-person event lets audiences enjoy a shared experience together, something otherwise challenging during COVID.

“Once again, we received an overwhelming number of quality entries from filmmakers from across the country,” says Ottawa Canadian Film Festival founder Jith Paul. “Narrowing them down to 12 excellent, compelling, thought-provoking and entertaining films was no small feat for our jury. We are returning to in-person screenings this year, and I’m looking forward to enjoying these films on the big screen, chatting about them with the audience and local filmmakers, and the many filmmakers who are visiting Ottawa to attend the festival.”

Ottawa Canadian Film Festival. Photo provided by Jith Paul.

Not only do these filmmakers get to meet and network with each other, but they also get to watch their films with the audience. With such an isolating past two years, being able to speak to the audience directly is something these filmmakers will treasure and audiences appreciate.

“Our goal for OCanFilmFest is to expose as many people as possible to the best of local and national independent films,” says Campbell. “We have incredibly talented artists in Ottawa and across the country that many Canadians may not be aware of. From our start in 2015, we have strived to address this by showcasing the best submissions each year. For OCanFilmFest 2022 we are proud of our contributing artists and know this year’s audience is in for a special experience.”

These creations are for the creators as much as they are for the open public, so let’s start the following month by showing our appreciation!


OCan2022 will be running from Nov. 3-5, all starting at 7pm ET at the Bytowne Cinema at 325 Rideau Street. Tickets for non-members are under $12, while for children under 12 are a little over $7. To see the film lineup for each day, please visit www.ocanfilmfest.ca.

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