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Vox returns for its 19th year

By Adam Riley Sep 6, 2023 | 4:00 PM

Starting Thursday the Vox Popular Media Arts Festival will take centre stage at the Definitely Superior Art Gallery featuring 49 filmmakers from both the region and around the world.

Festival Director Adrien Harpelle says the success of the annual festival, which showcases films, visual arts and live performances, has been great but it has led to them having to shift what is available for audiences.

“We have fewer performers than we’ve had in the last couple of years. But that is because we have so many films, and we have so many amazing local films specifically, feature films, and a lot of them are premiering for the first time.”

Of those films, 14 are from the Thunder Bay region.

A Language Revitalization Project Directed by Morningstar Derosier & Noles Dennhardt

Call me if you Miss me Directed by Pablo Balboa

A Sack of Heavy Feathers Directed by Salomon Alonso

Le Tireur d’élite | The Sniper Directed by Ron Harpelle

CopyKat Directed by Gino delos Reyes

Liv & Adam Directed by Santiago Lasko

Chick-a-duck Directed by Rebeka Herron

From Ocean to Well Directed by Brendan Peterson

A Toast to You Directed by Dianne Brothers

Bridges to the North Directed by Tony Mcguire

Carousel of Time Directed by Adrien Harpelle

Yesterday’s Rose Directed by Martin King

Harpelle notes the festival, formerly known as the Bay Street Film Festival, is one of the few opportunities some people get to be able to present their work as the film industry in Thunder Bay has grown considerable over the past two decades.

Additionally there will be 72 visual artists and 4 live performances, making it one of the biggest celebrations of local film and art of its kind in the city.

The festival is being presented in phases with the in-person festival running from September 7th until the 10th, from September 11th until the 15th, a virtual film festival will be taking place, meanwhile from September 10th until the 14th.

Those workshops include:

  • 6th Docs North/Docs Nord workshop, presented by Flash Frame Film and Video Network, a 5-day intensive filmmaking workshop, this year with a focus on the theme of isolation. September 10-14 – Advance sign-ups required
  • How Physical Acting creates Communication, presented by Conflix, a look back at the evolution of silent acting. September 13th 7 p.m. Open to the public
  • Disrupt will be presenting on how to empower the community to speak up and speak out through art. September 15th 7 p.m. Open to the public

The cost to attend is $60 for a weekend pass or $20 for the day pass.

There is also a “pay what you can” which Harpelle says speaks to the festivals emphasis on inclusiveness.

“We really just don’t want any barriers, we are charging ticket prices because we need to fund the event, and we pay professional artist fees, but we also don’t turn anyone away.”

Harpelle adds the “pay what you can” model has always worked for them and those who can pay do, for those who can’t they let them in.

More information on the festival can be found by visiting its website.


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