Kinesis is a pilot project spearheaded by Jazmine Wilding (third from left) in which members of the Kootenay Screen Based Industry (KSBI) will get a chance to meet and network over four days in September. Photo: Will Johnson

Kootenay film industry gathers momentum

Kinesis will be a four-day professional development weekend at the Civic

At the end of September, the Civic Theatre is hosting a four-day professional development weekend with a pretty grandiose name: Kinesis, a Prologue to the Future of Kootenay Film.

This pilot project is a collaboration between the Civic, Touchstones and Nelson Kootenay Lake Tourism — as well as the newly created Kootenay Screen Based Industry (KSBI), a group created in January 2017.

According to Jazmine Wilding, it’s just the beginning of what the burgeoning film industry wants to accomplish in Nelson.

“We’re calling it a prologue because it really is the beginning, we’re hoping it’s going to be what spawns and strengthens the community going forward,” Wilding told the Star.

The project was initially spearheaded by the Civic’s Eleanor Stacey, who Wilding met at a Chamber of Commerce gala. After discussing Wilding’s previous work for Shambhala Music Festival, Stacey offered her a gig organizing the project, which she jumped at.

The way she figures, she’s just capitalizing on the momentum already created by KSBI, which has ballooned to 170 members over the past months. They have members in Revelstoke, Fernie and all over the area — and they’re actors, filmmakers, editors, photographers and digital media practitioners.

“We have people who have worked professionally in Los Angeles, we have people who made little videos with their phones. We have everyone from kids doing fun stuff to the big players like Louis Bockner and Mitchell Scott.”

Kinesis will be held from September 22 to 25, with screenings, workshops, open space sessions and networking events. They are currently soliciting content that will be screened, and depending on numbers they may expand to multiple venues outside the theatre.

“Since we’ve come together, we’ve been asking the KSBI group what they want, what we need to create a thriving film culture in the Kootenays, and the feedback has been they want to meet each other, they want to learn and grow and collaborate.”

Half the battle is just knowing each other, she figures.

“When Eleanor first came to me, what she really said was we need an event that unites the two types of filmers: the independent and the commercial filmers. They’re scared to work together because there’s this feeling that the industry isn’t big enough, that people will step on each others’ toes.”

If she can have anything to do with it, Wilding would like to see that culture of competition give way to one of collaboration — across mediums and genres.

“Kinesis really wants to show the community we have a strong film industry. It’s the 30th anniversary of Roxanne, which was filmed here, and there will actually be a free screening of it. But there’s been so many other projects filmed here as well, such as The Tall Man with Jessica Biel and of course, one that went viral online was JP Auclair’s street segment.”

Wilding was part of that shoot, earlier this year, in which Sherpas Cinema filmed a follow-up ski segment after Auclair’s death.

That involved a new Bryn Stevenson mural painted in Fairview and some pretty idiosyncratic work — she helped build one of the jumps used by urban skier Tom Wallisch.

Sherpas Cinema has signed on to participate this year, and will be doing a locals only screening of the resulting film, Imagination, before it’s world premiere in Montreal. She feels it’s a great example of a local project that’s embracing the new “Media Age.”

“That’s going to be the discussion at Kinesis is how we’re going to move forward and become strong as an industry. I think it’s interesting that we’ll be bringing some technology that folks in the Kootenays haven’t ever seen before.”

That includes virtual and augmented reality machines that will be showcased at Touchstones.

“We’ll have a virtual reality lounge, so there will be six-ish people and we’ll have goggles. I know Sherpas has been working on some VR-360 content, so we’re hoping to get something like that,” she said.

She knows how crazy that sounds.

“It’s like science fiction. Eleanor went down to this tech summit in March, she put on these goggles, and she told me she was genuinely surprised when she took off the goggles and found herself in the conference centre.”

Early bird tickets for Kinesis will be available August 15. Regular tickets will be released September 5, and depending on sales there may still be some at the door. There will be about 300 spots available, also depending on whether they expand to other venues.

Tickets are available at civictheatre.ca. Further questions can be directed to jazmin@civictheatre.ca.