A Hay River Film Society has been created with the goal of bringing a broader choice of movies to the community.

Scott Clouthier: movie enthusiast has founded the Hay River Film Society. NNSL file photo

“We just today got notified that we have non-profit status, so we’re officially registered,” said founder Scott Clouthier on Dec. 13.

Clouthier said he had the idea for a film society in Hay River for quite a while.

“Basically, it’s to try to put something together to bring the type of films to Hay River that don’t normally come to our theatre,” he said. “It’s festival films or independent films or foreign films or Canadian films.”

Clouthier said a lot of those films are excellent and noteworthy, but often not the type of movies shown at Riverview Cineplex.

“It’s not the mainstream stuff that we typically get because obviously the theatre is a business and they have to try to bring in what people want,” he said.

So the new society will offer a monthly film at Riverview Cineplex.

Clouthier has been working on establishing the film society for three months, and so far has about 10 paid-up members.

“Our goal is to get about 30, and obviously the more memberships we get the better it is because it helps us offset licensing and the rental of the theatre and the actual purchasing of the movies and that sort of stuff,” he explained.

While showing films will be the main focus right now, Clouthier said the new society may offer more in the future.

“Certainly, once we have built a sizeable group of film fanatics and have a membership base with the opportunity to do other things,” he said, noting that might include filmmaking workshops and maybe even a small film festival.

Clouthier himself has made three short films for the Dead North Film Festival, and also contributed to others with post-production work.

“One of the things I want to achieve with the Hay River Film Society is to give an opportunity for short films from the North to get shown, because, if we’re showing a feature, we can show a 10-minute or less short film before it because we don’t have any trailers and previews to show,” he noted. “So that’s all kind of prime opportunity for local filmmakers to show their stuff to an audience. It’s a difficult thing in the North to actually get your finished films screened in front of people.”

The first movie to be shown by the Hay River Film Society will be a free screening of a holiday classic as a way to raise awareness about the new organization.

It will be showing Miracle on 34th Street, the original version from 1947, at Riverview Cineplex at 3 p.m. on Dec. 23.

“I wanted to pick something that in my view was a classic, one of the all-time classics, and also something that isn’t shown on TV every week,” said Clouthier. “At least from my experience, you don’t see it on TV every week.”

In January, the society will start its monthly screenings of other movies.

Paul Bickford

Paul Bickford is the reporter for Hay River Hub.

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