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Ottawa to host new international film festival this March

"Organized by the Canadian Film Institute, the inaugural edition of the International Film Festival of Ottawa, or IFFO for short, will take place March 25-29 at the Ottawa Art Gallery and other downtown locations.

“Ottawa is a great city for filmgoers,” said CFI director Tom McSorley in an interview, citing the popularity of other film festivals the institute organizes. The not-for-profit charitable organization also operates the long-running Ottawa International Animation Festival, as well as Ottawa’s Latin American Film Festival, the African Film Festival and the European Union Film Festival.

“The numbers of people who go to movies, and who go to our festivals and support us, it’s impressive given the size of the city we are. There’s a real appetite for international cinema,” he said. “I think Ottawa is ready for an event like this.”

McSorley also pointed to the all-but-forgotten history of film production in the nation’s capital. “Ottawa was the centre of film production in Canada for 35 or 40 years from the 1920s to about 1956, and people tend to overlook that. We’re going to build into the festival a celebration of Ottawa’s film heritage with a couple of archival screenings of films produced here.”


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