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Annual event goes hybrid, with screenings in the theatre and online

The 10th Annual Milton Film Festival is celebrating this special year with a return to inperson screenings at the FirstOntario Arts Centre Milton, and a big VIP after-party at the prestigious Marquee Steakhouse.

The Festival was conceived in 2013 by Jennifer Smith and Katie Pearce, co-workers at the now-defunct Super ‘A’ Video store, who wanted to bring festival-quality independent and Canadian films to Milton in a theatre setting.

With the Town’s brand new arts centre available as a venue, and in partnership with the TIFF Film Circuit program, the first Milton Film Festival opened on January 11th, 2014 with the beautiful Spanish silent feature film BLANCANIEVES – still one of the best loved films in the festival’s history.

The 2023 Festival begins with five virtual screenings, available online January 25th through the 31st. Theatrical screenings open Friday January 27th with eight feature films being screened over course of the weekend. The film selections include some of the most highly acclaimed films of the year, with more than half by Canadian filmmakers and almost as many by women directors. Most films will feature interviews and Q&A sessions with special guests. The Opening Night Feature is, appropriately, I LIKE MOVIES – a funny and endearing portrait of a movie-obsessed teenager trying to pay his way into film school by working at a video store. Set in Burlington in the early 2000s, the film is the feature debut of film critic and former
Burlington video store clerk Chandler Levack, and has been chosen as one of Canada’s Top Ten 2022 films by TIFF.

As a fitting end, the closing film of the festival is the British documentary A BUNCH OF AMATEURS, about members of Britain’s oldest amateur filmmaking club as they struggle with a declining and aging membership, dwindling funds, a crumbling club house, and of course the pandemic.

Other theatrical feature films include:
• AFTERSUN – Saturday Night Gala – One of the most celebrated films of the year, about a young girl’s pivotal vacation with her father.
• THE SWEARING JAR – Acclaimed, heartwarming romantic drama by Lindsay MacKay (Wet Bum), with a remarkable supporting performance by Kathleen Turner
• THE LONG RIDER – Documentary about one man’s journey from Calgary to Brazil on a horse, with special guest filmmaker Sean Cisterna
• EO – Polish masterpiece about the journeys and tribulations of a donkey, shortlisted for the 2023 Oscars
• RICEBOY SLEEPS – One of Canada’s Top Ten Films, about a mother and son coping with their new home in Canada, starring Ethan Hwang (The Umbrella Academy)
• DRINKWATER – The ultimate Canadian comedy, starring Daniel
Doheny (Adventures in Public School) and Eric McCormack (Will and Grace) And the virtual screenings:
• THE ETERNAL DAUGHTER – A chilling ghost story starring Tilda Swinton in a dual role as mother and daughter
• LOVE IN THE TIME OF FENTANYL – Compassionate documentary about workers at a Vancouver safe injection site, produced by Robinder Uppal and Marc Serpa Francoeur (No Visible Trauma)
• REVIVAL69 – The forgotten story of Toronto’s 1969 Rock ‘n Roll Revival concert, dubbed ‘the second most important event in rock & roll history’
• GOLDEN ARM – A hilarious comedy about women arm wrestlers, with a 100% rating from Rotten Tomatoes As always, the festival will be showcasing a wide selection of short films by local and regional filmmakers, with a special focus on returning MFF ‘Alumni’ from past Festivals, including Roozbeh ‘Ray’ Noori (Fall), Antoine Rail (Currents), David Cartwright (The Perfect Game), Peter Riddihough (Sarah), Darcy Waite (You Did What?), and Milton’s own Steve Belford (Becoming Tom Thomson) who was another regular at Super ‘A’ Video. Most of the 19 short films will be included with a feature film screening, and all are available online as part of the Festival’s SHORT FILM EXTRAVAGANZA compilation. Tickets and passes are available at the FirstOntario Arts Centre Milton box office, or at miltonfilmfest10.eventive. org.

 

Earlier this year, the Government of Ontario passed Bill 45, “An Act to Proclaim Ontario Cadets Week” into law on April 11, 2022. To be celebrated on the first week of October of every year, Ontario cadets Week is an opportunity for the people of Ontario to “honour the outstanding young Canadians whose unique personal and collective development through cadet programs will help them be successful in Canadian society, as well as recognizing those who support the programs directly and indirectly.”

In February 2020, the Milton Players Theatre Group had just wrapped their hilarious production of “Perfect Wedding”. It was the second show of their 40th Anniversary season. Two of the three shows planned for the celebratory season, marking 4 decades of bringing award winning theatre to Milton, were now complete and they were gearing up to close the season with their May 2020 production. Little did they know that it would be their last time on stage entertaining live audiences for over two and a half years.

The COVID-19 pandemic forced them to cut their Anniversary Season short, and while they continued to entertain by focusing on online projects over the last two years, this November brings them back to the stage in front of live audiences once again!

For the past 9 years there has been a Halal Food Festival in nearby Mississauga. It’s always been a great success but recently the organizer Amir Shamsi and Sara Khan (Milton resident and entrepreneur) worked together to bring the annual event to Milton.

The event held on August 21st at the Milton Community Park was extremely well attended and included live music performances along with many Halal food options, local vendors, and a Mango Festival included as part of the festivities.

Italian Cultural Centre of Milton (ICCM) in collaboration with La Rose Specialty Foods and Fine Italian Bakery co-hosted its 9th Annual Italia Fest Fundraiser on August 14th supporting Townsend Smith Foundation & the ICCM Building Fund.

Italia Fest is an outdoor family festival and fundraiser that celebrates Italian Culture and Heritage in Canada through food, drink, music, dancing, games, and community spirit. Italian Canadians and ALL diverse cultures were welcomed to celebrate this beautiful day at the ICCM escarpment grounds.

The 155th Canada Day was celebrated at the Milton Sports Area Event Area A on July 2 with much joy. After singing the Canadian and Indian National Anthem, the Canadian Indian Association of Halton Region President, Mr. Jagmohan Mainra, addressed the event and welcomed all dignitaries and guests. More than 500 guests attended the function. Mr. Mainra said in his speech, “As we celebrate Canada Day today, let us embrace our differences and learn to rejoice in them. India, like Canada, has a lot of diversity and history. This is why most Indians fi nd it so easy to integrate and embrace Canadian life. Cheers to the wonderful Karam bhoomi (the land that gave us our present & future) and cheers to our Matr bhoomi (the land that gave us life). Jai Bharat, Jai Canada.”

The famous Jagannath Puri Rath Yatra, also known as the Festival of Chariots, is believed to be the world’s oldest and largest chariot procession. Jagannath is another name for Lord Krishna. Once a god’s deity is established in a temple, it usually is not moved. Lord Jagannath is one of the rare deities taken out of his temple each year for a procession where it is said, he visits His devotees, and the public welcomes Him in the streets. The Ratha-yatra showcases the Lord’s love for His devotees. Milton’s ISKCON temple held its 3rd Festival of India on June 26th, 2022.

The International Society for Krishna Consciousness is popularly called ISKCON. It also is referred to as the Hare Krishna movement. ISKCON has more than five hundred major centers, temples and rural communities, a wide variety of community projects, including FOOD FOR LIFE, and millions of congregational members across various countries. ISKCON’s Milton branch started in the year 2017.