Jason Asbell's latest column features thoughts on Lebowski

COLUMN: The Dude Abides

As a film programmer it sometimes feels like I’m up against Jackie Treehorn’s goons with the big film distributors.

As a film programmer, it sometimes feels like I’m up against Jackie Treehorn’s goons or a gang of Nihilists when dealing with the big film distributors. But other times, our theatre is filled with so many wonderful community things, it is like waking up next to Maude Lebowski or sipping on a White Russian with Sam Roberts at the bowling alley.

Between working with Kootenay Co-op Radio on their Big Lebowski fundraiser this week, shooting a PSA produced in cooperation with students from Wildflower Elementary and working with long-standing volunteers to create unique cinematic experiences for the Civic’s Marketfest booth, this past week has been just that.

It is these touch points with the community that make my job so much fun. It is deeply rewarding to work with so many amazing people from all sorts of great organizations that bring their passion to creating great events.

The recent screening of Amy Bohigian’s Knowledge Network Kootenay shorts, the Pura Vida fundraiser featuring Corazón, and the upcoming second annual Just For Cats Internet film festival presented by the SPCA (June 24) are just a few examples of the amazing stuff taking place at the Civic these days.

Then there is the public service announcement created this week in our space by a class from Wildflower School. We are so excited to have had the opportunity to work with these kids to produce our own homegrown cinema PSA trailers and find one more way to get our amazing community up on the screen. (Be sure to check out Wildflower’s PSA screening before the run of Jurassic World playing June 12 to 18!)

People come through our doors for a lot of reasons — primarily to see movies of course, but our mission as a society goes a lot deeper than that. Our space is a public amenity for film screenings, but also for other community building programs, ranging from artistic and educational endeavours to other gatherings.

So yes, Hollywood is alive and well at the Civic Theatre, but this has been one of those weeks that makes it feel like it’s just in the background. Local voices are speaking loud and clear on our screen these days, and that is something worth celebrating.

That messaging is some of what we are hoping to get out at Marketfest this year. We have some fun stuff in store for visitors to our booth on June 26, along with great new information about all the programs and services that we offer to the community. We can’t wait to see lots of familiar and new faces and we’re sure we’ll have something interesting to show you.

But to paraphrase The Dude, “Yeah, well, you know, that’s just, like, my opinion, man.”

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