FITI NEWS: Show Canada, HIFF, and The Canadian Screen Awards

It’s been a busy week. Here’s just some of the things going on:

Show Canada comes to Halifax

Canada’s biggest film exhibitor conference was in town this week. I attended a mixer on Monday put on by the good people at NICE, the Network of Independent Cinema Exhibitors, a great group of passionate cinema lovers running (usually) single screen cinemas across the country, like Carbon Arc, the one we have here.

The conference brings together the indies and the big cinema companies, studios, and other movie biz representatives to talk about what’s coming in the year ahead and schmooze about the business.

They also give out awards, which they did for Dune: Part Two filmmaker, Denis Villeneuve, who flew into Halifax to collect the award personally. That was cool of him. (Villeneuve will also be feted at the Canadian Screen Awards on Friday by his collaborator, composer Hans Zimmer.)

Halifax Independent Filmmakers Festival 2024

It started on Wednesday and is running through Saturday — a collection of unique features and short films, the likes of which are hard to see anywhere let alone on the big screen.

Thursday night was animator, short and feature filmmaker Lulu Keating’s retrospective — I spoke to her on CBC Mainstreet, and she talked about how one of her feature films, The Midday Sun, which was shot in Zimbabwe, is basically lost, She has a copy of it on DVD, but she doesn’t know where the original 35mm reels are. It devastating to me that we don’t have an archive of this work.

Friday night they’re screening The People’s Joker. I’m bummed to miss it, I’ll be out of town. Visit for tickets and more information.

The Canadian Screen Awards 2024

Last year I wrote a piece on FITI about The Canadian Screen Awards, evincing my pity on the organizers. I expressed something similar in my preview of the 2021 awards.

These awards combine recognition for television news and entertainment with homegrown feature filmmaking — a Canadian version of both the Emmys and the Academy Awards over the course of a week — but they fight an uphill battle for recognition from a population that doesn’t much care, especially on the cinematic front.

I don’t have a lot to add to those sentiments for 2024. As with previous years I’ve seen some of the nominees, some I’ve missed, and some I haven’t even heard of.  Given the peculiarities of Canadian distribution around feature films, some of these nominated features may never get a release in Nova Scotia either in cinemas or on streaming. I can only hope the attention these awards bring will increase the chances of that happening.

Friday night is the Screen Awards ceremony, but some of the awards have already been given out. You can go here to get more information on the nominees and winners. 

For what it’s worth, I think Blackberry, this year’s most nominated film — which has also been edited to screen on TV as a miniseries — is somewhat overrated. I’d be happy to see Infinity Pool, Humanist Vampire Seeking Consenting Suicidal Person, and Red Rooms receive a few awards, as well as Atlantic pictures like The King Tide and The Queen Of My DreamsAlso, big props to Someone Lives Here for the nomination — a fantastic documentary out of Toronto.

About the author


Carsten Knox is a massive, cheese-eating nerd. In the day he works as a journalist in Halifax, Nova Scotia. At night he stares out at the rain-slick streets, watches movies, and writes about what he's seeing.