The 6th annual Canadian Sports Film Festival hit Winnipeg again this weekend where it kicked off at the Park Theatre on Friday night with two films (Crash Reel about snowboarder Kevin Pearce, and Tailwind: Prairie Harvest a story about four cyclists on a 17-day, 1200 km tour throughout Manitoba buying only locally produced food).
The festival ended on Saturday with two free screenings (one at 5:30pm and one at 7:00pm). Eight films were screened on a big block of ice at The Forks including two locally produced films, The No Regretzkys (2009) by Derek Eidse, Ruprict Haacke, Shira Newman & Kevin Nikkel; and The Toilers of ’33 (2010) directed by Kevin Nikkel. Toilers is the story of The Winnipeg Toilers, the 1933 men’s Canadian basketball team whose plane crashed on the way home from Tulsa, Oklahoma killing two. The story is told by Hugh Pennwarden, son of one of the survivors.
The festival featured three other Canadian films, one from the US, one from Scotland and a Brazilian documentary about 22 communities facing displacement as a result of 2014 World Cup construction.
Other themes included an eleven-year-old girl playing hockey in a previously all-boys league, ballet shoe manufacturing, three women surfers at New York’s Rockaway Beach, Halifax’s new ice skating oval, beer-league hockey and the only animated entry The Basketball Game (2011) by Hart Snider; the story of 9-year-old Hart at Jewish summer camp playing basketball against students of a Holocaust denier.
Canadian Sports Film Festival is the brainchild of Russell Field, assistant professor at U of M who teaches the course ‘Sport, Film and Society’. The festival started in Toronto in 2008 and in Winnipeg in 2010-2011. It now takes place in both cities. This is the second year the ‘Snowscreen’ was used for the CSFF. In 2011 the screenings were at the Manitoba Museum and in 2012 at the Gas Station Theater
Two fires in barrels on either side of the screening tent kept filmgoers warm and Tall Grass Prairie inside the Forks Market supplied free hot chocolate, coffee, tea, sandwiches, cookies and desserts.
All photos by Doug Kretchmer