"It's excellent to have the dedication and passion of FWC on the front lines of celebrating the great movies we make in this country."
· Ingrid Veninger, pUNK Films Inc. and Board Member First Weekend Club
There is so much love for Canadian films. We are finally passionate about our product. It’s proven it’s able to stand on its own on the world stage. Industry players like Sarah Polley, Christopher Plummer, Atom Egoyan and David Cronenberg and Xavier Dolan have won the acclaim Canada has always deserved both at home and abroad but has rarely achieved. Much of this new awareness can be traced to the work of the First Weekend Club.
“Canada Screens” a new video-on-demand streaming service featuring the work of Canadian filmmakers will be available soon and it’s about time. There are few opportunities for Canadians to see home-grown films outside of a major city. All that has changed now, they are coming to us. Visit www.canadascreens.ca
Ten years ago, a group of forward thinking film fans banded together to find a way to extend the tenure of Canadian films in theatres. When pitted against big budget, highly marketed films from the US, Canadian films have suffered. Those all-important first weekend box office figures determine their commercial viability and in some cases, places in history.
The First Weekend Club was created to extend possibility and awareness by attracting folks to support Canadian films for that crucial bow. The FWC is a non-profit group led by Anita Adams to raise awareness through special events, content, film alerts and contests.
The “pipe dream” was to keep Canadians plugged into their own film industry 24/7 in innovative, fun, educational and social ways. The First Weekend Club was the culmination of ideas from filmmakers, distributors, exhibitors, film festivals and other areas of the film industry in Canada.
Ten years later the First Weekend Club has supported 300 films and hundreds of filmmakers in 200 events. These folks with a dream include Veninger, Chair, Whistler Film Festival's director of programming Paul Grattan, Cineplex's Michael Kennedy, Alliance Film's Dan Loewy, CMPA's Marc Seguin, Joker Film's Tim Brown, Pacific Northwest Pictures' Emily Alden, EP Canada's Cheryl Nex, Cornel Fota and Jan Miller.
“When I started First Weekend Club, I could not imagine where we’d be today,” says Executive Director, Anita Adams, “I'm thrilled with how far we’ve come and to have witnessed so many people eagerly embracing Canadian films.”
The FWC offers supporting material including interviews, background and trailers, special screening events and the all-important word-of-mouth. It claims that 90% of the films they have supported “stay in theatres longer” including The Delicate Art of Parking, One Week, Starbuck, The Corporation, Hit N’ Strum, Take This Waltz, C.R.A.Z.Y., It's All Gone Pete Tong, Scared Sacred, Still Mine, Pontypool, Rebelle, Passchendaele, I Declare War, The Lesser Blessed, Picture Day, Molly Maxwell.... it’s all on the FWC website database.
The First Weekend Club has released a birthday present of a 40 second video that showcases FWC’s history over the past ten years. Visit http://firstweekendclub.ca to view the video, learn about the programme and get involved.